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.
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.
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)
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)
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.