Shared Recipe: Tayglech (Honey Balls)

This will be a hit in your next party…a conversation piece indeed!   My honey balls..sweet!

Tayglech (Honey Balls)
Makes about 2 pounds

(Excerpts from Inside the Jewish Bakery
by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg © 2011 Camino Books
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.)

2¼ tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp table salt
2 large eggs
7 large egg yolks
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 1/3 cups bread flour, unsifted
¾ tsp Vanilla extract
¾ tsp rum flavoring
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans (optional)
½ cup glacéed cherries (optional)
1-2 cups flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 400°F with your baking surface in the middle.  Using the flat (paddle) beater at medium (KA 4-6) speed, blend together the sugar, salt, eggs, egg yolks and oil.  Add the flour and flavorings and mix to a smooth dough, 3-4 minutes.

Remove the dough to a well-floured work surface and sprinkle the top surface generously with more flour.  Shape the dough into a rectangle about ¼” – ½” thick.  Continue sprinkling flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, cut the dough into strips roughly ¼” – ½” wide, varying the width.  Separate the strips and flour the cut edges well.

Cut the strips into pieces about ¼” – ½” long, so you end up with a large number of irregularly-sized dough pieces.  Flour the cut edges yet again.

Arrange the pieces in a single layer on parchment-lined cookie sheets, making sure they don’t touch.  Bake until light brown and crisp, 20-25 minutes.

Let the tayglech cool on the parchment and then put them into a strainer and shake off as much excess flour as you can.

Honey Coating

1 cup       Honey                             12.00 oz        340 grams      9% Baker’s Percentage

½ cup      Granulated sugar          4.00              113                   2%

½ tsp        Ground cloves               0.04                  1                    –

1.      Combine the honey and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and boil, stirring often, until it reaches the hard ball stage, 250°F – 265°F/121°C – 129°C.  Depending on the heat, this can happen quickly, so don’t walk away.

2.      Add the ground cloves, baked tayglech and nuts and/or cherries, if desired, and stir gently to coat with the honey mixture, taking care not to break the dough pieces.

3.      Place the mixture on a lightly oiled piece of baking parchment or cookie sheet, allow to cool until you can handle it comfortably and form into rounded mounds of desired size.  In the bakery, individual pieces were about the size of a tennis ball, while larger loaves were the size of a grapefruit or a small melon.

4.      Let cool completely before eating, 2-3 hours.  Eat by hand, taking tayglech, nuts and fruit from the loaf.

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