Talking Rosh Hashana: Teiglach


 Now I understand why nobody makes Teiglach anymore. You know, Teiglach, that ancient Lithuanian Jewish Rosh Hashana delicacy assembled from hundreds of tiny balls of  honey soaked dough.

My eyes light up when a recipe is labeled  “easy” and “quick.”  Teiglach is clearly not this. Teiglach harkens back  to a time when women rolled their own pasta,  churned their own butter and did petite point to unwind. Other than the obvious connection between a sweet dessert and a sweet  New Year, I haven’t been able to discover how this dish came about or what it means. It was a cherished  part of Lithuanian Jewish cuisine   even  brought to  South Africa by Litvaks who moved there.

When I was a kid, all the New York Jewish bakeries sold Teiglach  sometimes with 1950s style additions  like maraschino cherries and coconut. Now, Teiglach is extinct to the point where people below the age of 40 don’t even recognize the name.

I don’t anticipate a big revival. Though  my homemade Teiglach attempt was  yummy and also quite pretty,  the effort nearly drove me mad to the point that I nearly gave up but then, my 11 year old son  saved the day by completing the tedious task of cutting the dough.

Recipe:Adapted from  “A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking,” by Marcy Goldman

I looked in three cookbooks and Marcy’s Teiglach was by far the simplest and involved the smallest quantity of dough. This is not a recipe you want to double, without a team of slaves or elves or children or robots to help you.

Dough

3 eggs

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2  cups of flour plus additional flour so that the mixture will form a workable dough.

Honey Syrup

3/4 cup honey

1/3 cup sugar

Handful of whole almonds or other nuts (note: if you’re making this for Rosh Hashana you may want to skip the nuts)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 F or 185 C

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

Using the paddle attachment, mix dough ingredient.

Turn out dough on a floured board and incorporate more flour until you have a very soft workable dough.

Roll out into pencil thin strips and cut into small (1/2 inch) pieces. They can be a little bigger. Teiglach puffs don’t have to be perfect.

Lay the pieces on the baking paper so that they don’t touch and bake until they are puffed up and golden brown (about 20 minutes)

Syrup

In a saucepan, heat honey and sugar together and boil very gently for 3 to 5 miutes until just amber col0red. Lower the heat and stir in nuts and dough puffs tossing them with syrup and taking care not to break them. Shut flame.

Prepare a lighly greased baking sheet

Dip your hands in cold water. Poured the honey soaked dough puffs onto your baking sheet and mold them into pyramids. Let cool

Teiglach are sticky. Store in airtight container.  You can bake the teiglach first and then make syrup and assemble the next day. That’s what I did.

About these ads

7 thoughts on “Talking Rosh Hashana: Teiglach

  1. I will gladly and happily eat your taglach–can you send some to your mother? But–I will probably NOT try to make them.. I trhinhk some may still be available at Zabar’s, but I don’t know and will try. I do remember my grandma making them, but not clearly. Will pt on my thinking cap. Much love, Ruth

    • With my son’s Bar Mitzvah kiddush coming up on Shabbos, I’ve been on a Marcy Goldman bake-a-thon. I’ve got trays and trays of your stuff–addictive brownies (I hope to frost them today) sisterhood fruit bars, kipfels etc. Taiglach is too fussy to make for the masses, Thanks so much.I’m getting great value from your book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s