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Crescent Roll

Kifli (“KEEF-LEE”) is one of the most common types of bread rolls in Hungary.

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  1. sue says:

    I’ve been searching for a recipe for Kifli, the cresent roll with poppy seeds. The only place I know to even buy them is in Lyndora, PA at the National Bakery. I’ve found tons of recipes for the cookie, but I am looking for the roll that is tender, but dense and has poppy seeds on it. If anyone out there can help, I’d really appreciate it!

  2. Frank Kaufman says:

    I can certainly help, at least with clarifying the subject and make your search easier.

    During the 150 years of Türkish occupation of Hungary (in the 16th century), bakers have shown their defiance by creating a new form of breadroll. By flattening the dough into a half circle, rolling it up from the wide end and bending it into a crescent shape, they created something that resembled the Türkish crescent moon symbol that people could eat.

    The name for it came from the German “Kipfel”, hungarianized to the word “Kifli”. One German dictionary defines Kipfel as a horn shaped roll or croissant, the word stemming from “Kipf” or horn-shaped.

    Over time the name got attached to different baked goods that have a crescent shape, and they can be found in various countries (Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary etc.) with different fillings, using different dough.

    In Hungary, if you ask for a “kifli”, you get a crescent shaped breadroll made from white flower. However a “vaniliás kifli” is a crumbly light beige sweet, where the sugar and vanilla is mixed into the flour. A “pozsonyi kifli” is a thinner pastry shell filled with either poppy seed or walnut and baked to a medium brown color.

    There are a hundred and one other variations, the only thing common between them is that they all have a crescent shape.

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