Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews
Hungarian Cinnamon Swirl Bread from the Bakehouse
Somodi Kalács (pronounced sho-MO-dee-ka-loch) already has a strong cult-following and I’m confident it will only continue to grow going forward.
If you’re not yet familiar with it, Somodi Kalács is a particularly tasty cinnamon swirl loaf that’s made in the tradition of the Transylvanian town of Torockó. While this old region of Hungary and Romania is world famous for the rather scary story of Vlad Dracul (better known in popular circles as Dracula), there’s a whole lot more to Transylvanian history, cooking, and culture. We could, I would suggest, start the story with this so-cinnamony, oh-so-delicious, oh-so-rich, sweet bread. Amy Emberling, long time managing partner at the Bakehouse, shares:
Somodi Kalács originated some 400 years ago, when the village of Torockó was a prosperous iron ore and gold mining town. The lucrative metals trade gave villagers the means to afford cinnamon and sugar, a real luxury back then. It was, and continues to be, served for Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost, and until the 20th century, it was the customary wedding cake. To learn how to make Somodi Kalács we visited the bed-and-breakfast of Melinda Király, who learned to cook and bake in her parents’ restaurant. We were especially intrigued by the special folding technique Melinda used to achieve the unique swirl of cinnamon sugar inside the bread. We’ve replicated her technique in making our own version!
Co-managing partner, Frank Carollo (who retired last year), adds, “Transylvania was beautiful. While looking at the mist in the hills I remember imagining Dracula riding down from the woods.”
Made with organic wheat flour, Michigan honey, fresh eggs, and a sweet, buttery, cinnamon sugar swirl, the smell is amazing. The taste is even better. Many customers tell me they buy two—one to eat a large part of in the car on the way home, the other for the family. Others will buy up eight or ten when we do these Special Bakes and then freeze a bunch to work on in the coming weeks. It is fantastic torn right off the loaf alongside a cup of coffee. The Kalács makes a killer French toast. Or I guess we could call it Transylvanian Toast.
Explore our other Hungarian desserts on the blog!
Somodi Kalács is a seasonal item that is available several times throughout the year.