Friday, April 07, 2006

Good Friday Kiffle

We have a Good Friday food tradition at the Treehouse. Some people eat hot cross buns on Good Friday; we make and eat Mr. Fixit's German grandma's Kiffle.

Kiffle (they sound like kee'-fa-la) are not those rolled-up European pastries called kipfel (although Grandma did make something like that too). These Kiffle are more like Polish Kolacky or Czech Kolache--a small, sweet yeast bun with fruit or jam filling poked into its side. We didn't have an authentic recipe for them from Grandma--I don't know if it was ever written out, she did most of her cooking without recipes. There are Kolacky/Kolache recipes online that sound pretty close-- this one is much like ours only it makes twice as many and uses a whole lot more butter.

The version we came across a few years ago and make every year (because Mr. Fixit says it's reasonably close to his grandma's Kiffle) comes from Dorothy R. Bates' Kids Can Cook vegetarian cookbook, published by The Book Publishing Company in Tennessee (yes, the tofu people). It makes about 24 small rolls, most of which get eaten pretty fast.

(A historical note from Grandma: she told us that when she was growing up in Eastern Europe, the traditional snack on Good Friday was popcorn. So sometimes we make popcorn too.)

Kolacky (or Kiffle)

1. Mix in a small bowl: 1 tbsp. yeast, 1 tsp. honey, 1/4 cup warm water.

2. Cream together: 1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine or butter, softened; 2 tbsp. honey; 1 tsp. salt.

3. Stir in and beat well: 1 egg, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup flour.

4. Add the yeast mixture and stir well together.

5. Slowly add, while stirring: 3 to 4 cups flour. Use enough to make dough soft but not sticky.

6. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it a few times. Put it in an oiled bowl and turn it around to coat with oil.

7. Cover bowl with a clean towel. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled in size.

8. Knead down, pinch off balls, the size of a walnut, place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

9. Let rise another 30 minutes.

10 Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Press down the centers with your thumb to make a small hollow. (The online Kolache recipe notes that you have to press down good and hard, because otherwise the indentations will "pop out" while they're baking.) Fill each hollow with 1 tsp. apricot preserves, or peach preserves, or apple butter.

11. When oven is hot, put rolls in oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Tops should be lightly browned.

12. Remove from oven and cool. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Anonymous said...

keytfala the best!

momof3feistykids said...

What a lovely tradition! Thank you for sharing this.