|Place of origin||Hungary, Serbia|
|Region or state||Balkan, Central Europe|
|Main ingredients||Wheat flour|
|Cookbook: Kifli Media: Kifli|
Kifli (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈkifli]) is a traditional European yeast roll made into a crescent shape. The pastry is called kifli in Hungarian, Kipferl in Austrian German, кифла/kifla in Serbian, kifla in Bosnian, corn in Romanian, рогалик/rogalik in Russian, рогалик/rohalyk in Ukrainian, кифла in Bulgarian, кифла in Macedonian. Among West Slavic languages, it is called rohlík in Czech, rožok in Slovak and rogal in Polish. In Danish and Swedish, it is called giffel.
A kifli is made by cutting sheets of soft yeast dough into triangular wedges, then rolling this into a crescent shapes which are then baked. Kifli differs from the French "croissant" (the word means "kifli") in that it is made from a plain, bread-like dough (thus being more akin to a roll than to pastry) and being both thinner and longer. They may also come in different sizes, some of them equalling in weight a small bread loaf.
When they come out of the oven, the rolls can be left plain or given a water brushing to make them shiny, or can be given an egg wash and sprinkled with either poppy seeds or caraway seeds mixed with coarse salt. The latter variety is often made into a straight shape, instead of curved like a crescent. Kifli is eaten like bread or rolls, usually made into a sandwich, sometimes plain or with butter like a fresh baguette. Often, especially for breakfast, the topping is jam or honey, or they may be used for dunking.
This is the same as the regular style, but the dough may contain butter or other shortening and/or milk. It is sweeter than the regular variety and is therefore especially well suited to be eaten with jam or honey, as is often done for breakfast with coffee, hot chocolate or milk. This might also be an accompaniment for drinks like Doogh or Kumis.
There are a couple of sweet rolls that carry the name "kifli" to describe their shape but they are eaten at the end of a meal or with an afternoon tea or coffee and have nothing to do with kifli which, if the word is used on its own, always means the regular or fine varieties described above.
- vaníliás kifli is a small soft cookie made from a dough of ground nuts, instead of flour. It is usually made with walnuts but almonds are more often used outside of Hungary. Once baked they are rolled in vanilla flavored confectioners' sugar before allowed to cool.
- diós kifli, mákos kifli, also known as Pozsonyi kifli (Pozsony is the Hungarian name of Bratislava, capital city of the Slovak Republic) are crescent-shaped sweet leavened pastries filled with a sweet walnut or poppy paste. They are a variety of beigli, very similar in flavor but different in shape and size.
A common culinary myth claims that when Christian forces freed Buda from Ottoman occupation in 1683 the bakers of the town celebrated the victory the next day by selling freshly baked bread rolls made into a crescent shape. The fashion caught on, and the kifli was born. Another unconfirmed culinary legend claims that the "Kipferl" (from which the Hungarian word "kifli" likely originates) was invented in Vienna after or during the siege of the city by the Ottoman Turks.
An early 1990s Hungarian pop group, Kifli, was named after this bakery specialty.
Process of kifli production
- Vanillekipferl, a feature of Austrian cuisine
- Rogal świętomarciński, a crescent cake baked in Poznań, Poland, for St. Martin's Day
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