Updated: Sep 3, 2019
Traditional Polish rugelach. It’s one of Mum’s signature bakes. It’s a simple bake but Mum’s recipe and hints go a long way to achieve the best texture. Most important - her approach makes this yeasted rugelach a no-knead, quick bake, achieving in the same time a sound balance between short pastry style and yeasted rugelach.
Yeast is used here to bring crispiness on the outside, longer shelf life and enhance buttery/flaky/soft texture on the inside. Great recipe if you want to kick start baking with yeast. If you do bake with yeast - test this one out - you will get great outcome with little work.
So, what exactly are you getting here?
This rugelach is a butter-rich mix between short pastry and yeasted dough. Even though it is yeasted, the dough comes together without kneading, it’s easy to work with and elastic.
Why does it work?
Melted butter speeds up the process and makes it a no-knead dough - all ingredients just need to be mixed in together.
We recommend minimum touch time - it will be tempting to over-work it as the dough is super easy to knead. Extensive kneading here releases too much gluten and as an outcome you get powdery/floury texture with rugelachs loosing its freshness after one day. If you use stand mixer for your bread baking - we would recommend mixing by hand here. If you follow the recipe and hints, this type of rugelach, stored in airtight container, keeps fresh for 3-4 days or longer (the outside layer will go soft but still will be enjoyable).
Use egg yolk only - adding egg yolk-only guarantees rich taste without the powdery texture. Using full eggs binds the dough = floury texture (rugelach will come out more yeasty and floury rather than short).
Use minimum sugar in the dough - you want the yeast to start off (sugar helps and adds a bit of flavour) but you don’t want the rugelach to become too ‘yeasty’ and fluffy. Only short rest phases are needed at room temperature. Again - you want the yeast to bring crispiness to this rugealch and not bread-y texture.
The dough - thanks to ratios, melted butter and short rest phases - is super easy to work with. Hence, way easier to shape and roll out.
Overnight dough rest - optional but highly recommended - if you are going for crispier/short, pastry-like texture we recommend an overnight rest for this dough. This is optional as the dough is ready to be rolled out after one rest (1hr).
Don’t use any additional flour for dusting. The dough is buttery and will be easy to roll out. If you use extra flour (even small amount) you will taste it in baked rugelach.
The portion below is fairly small - easily can be doubled. You can go for different sizes of rugelachs - cut the circle into 6, 9 or 12 triangles - depending on the size you are going after.
Rolling - roll out the dough as thin as you can. We like to roll out each rectangle once again, separately - to make sure we are getting the thinest layer. Close off the filling and then roll the rugelach using your finger tips (rolling both edges - rather than putting the pressure on the middle). Now a fun tip - the wider the angle of flare the nicer the shape you will get (this way you will get longer rugelach ends for twisting). Another way to roll it out - if you are going for bigger/croissant style rugelachs - roll it out into rectangle and then cut into triangles.
Dipping rugelachs in egg white and sugar gives them lovely extra crunch.
Few words about fillings you can use here. Thick marmalade, chocolate, Nutella - are regular choices. We love to fill these with cardamom/cinnamon filling - same as used in this Babka. Once you roll out the dough brush it with butter mixed with spices, sprinkle with demerara or light brown sugar (add some chopped toasted almonds/pistachios/hazelnuts) and shape.
No-Knead Buttery Rugelach recipe
Yield: 12 rugelachs
Time: 15min prep + 1 hr rest + overnight rest (optional) + 15min prep + 20min rest + 20min baking
Tin: large baking tray
For yeast proofing:
- 63ml (1/4 cup*) full-fat milk
- 1 Tbsp (10g) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp (15g) white granulated sugar or vanilla sugar
- 2 tsps (6g) active dry yeast or 20g active bulk dry yeast
For the rest of the dough:
- 240g (1 and 2/3 cup minus 1 Tbsp for proofing) all-purpose flour
- tiny pinch of salt
- 125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 egg yolk from large egg, room temperature
- egg white, leftover
- 100g (1/2 cup) white granulated sugar
* cup = 250ml cup
- Thick marmalade of your choice - 1 tsp per rugelach
- Chocolate or Nutella - 1 tsp per rugelach
- Cardamom-cinnamon filling - 1/2 portion from this recipe - brush the circle
- Cardamom-cinnamon filling + roasted nuts of your choice - brush circle, sprinkle nuts
1. Proof the yeast: In a small pot warm up milk mixed with flour and sugar to 42C. Make sure flour and sugar are fully dissolved. Take off the heat and mix in the yeast. Cover with dry kitchen towel and keep in warm place. After 15 minutes you should see the mixture bubbling up. If you don’t - start again (the temperature might have been too low/too high, check bbe date on yeast).
2. Prepare the dough: Sift flour into your main mixing bowl. Add a small pinch of salt, proofed yeast, egg yolk and melted butter. Mix by hand until the dough is formed. It should take some 4 minutes to fully mix in all ingredients. If you are using stand mixer - mix on lowest speed for 3-4 minutes (but preferably mix by hand). Don’t over mix, don’t knead. Treat this dough same as pie crust or cookie dough. Once mixed, cover tightly with dry kitchen towel or cling film and move to warm place (21C) for 1hr rest. After that time, pat the dough few times to degas. You may opt to go to Step 3 (shape) or refrigerate overnight (the dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours).
3. Shape: When ready, roll out the dough into circle, 0.1cm thin. Roll out as thin as possible, remember not to use any flour for dusting the surface. Divide the circle into 12 triangles. If you notice the pointy edge is still too thick - roll out each triangle separately to achieve thin layer. Place 1 generous teaspoon of filling of your choice, close off the filling and using your finger tips roll both ends of rugelach (roll rugelach ends using finger tips rather than palm of your hand pressing the middle). Twist the edges to form rugelach shape or leave straight. Dip rugelach in egg white and then in granulated sugar. Place on the baking tray and let rugelachs rest for 20 min, in a meantime preheat the oven to 190C.
4. Bake: Bake at 190C for 20 minutes until golden in colour. After 12 minutes if you see rugelachs are browning too fast, decrease the temperature to 180C for the remaining 8 minutes. If you are going for 6 rugelachs per portion, extend baking time to 23 minutes. When baked, leave on the baking tray for 10 minutes then transfer to the cooling rack.
1. You can find few hints on Baking with Yeast in this post.