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Teiglach (Pastry Nuggets Cooked in Honey)

Claudia Roden

by Claudia Roden

A traditional pastry eaten during Rosh Hashanah celebrations, this Teiglach recipe from Claudia Roden is syrupy sweet, and brightened with the addition of ginger and grated lemon zest.

Introduction

Teiglach is very popular with Jews of Lithuanian origin who have kept up the tradition in South Africa. When I ask people from there if they had any foods that are different from Jewish foods elsewhere, many say they don’t often find teiglach and sound very nostalgic. Honey makes it a speciality of Rosh Hashanah and celebrates ‘the land of milk and honey’. It is very sweet and you can only eat a little at a time.

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Ingredients

For the dough:
3 eggs
1 tbsp oil
a pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
300g (11oz) plain flour
For the syrup:
500g (1lb) fragrant honey
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp ginger
50g (2oz) chopped walnuts to garnish

Method

Beat the eggs with the oil, salt and baking powder. Add jut enough flour to make a soft dough that holds together, mixing it in with a fork, then working it in with your hand. Knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic, adding a little flour if the dough is sticky. Then wrap in cling film and leave in the refrigerator for ½ hour.

With floured hands, roll the dough between your palms into pencil-thin ropes about 1.25cm (½ inch) thick. Lay them on a floured board, and with a sharp knife cut them into 1.25cm (½ inch) pieces.

Bring the honey to the boil in a pan and add the lemon zest and ginger. Put in the teiglach, a few at a time, so that they do not stick together, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until they are a rich brown colour.

If the honey becomes too thick and sticky, add a little water to thin it. Pour into an oiled dish (to prevent them from sticking) and sprinkle with walnuts.

Variation: Another way is to bake the nuggets of dough in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes before cooking them in the honey, but that tends to harden them more.

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