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Desserts and Sweets: Kichel

By Freya (Blitstein) Maslov

Related to: Polonnoye (Town)Recipes


This is a milchik recipe from Polonnoye and Chudnow near Zhitomir. My grandmother made dozens of these Kichel so that we would be able to break the fast of Yom Kippur with sweetness. The older folks would dunk them in their coffee and us kids would dunk in our glass of milk or slather them with whipped butter. YUM! My children always started nudging me weeks ahead of time to start baking them . It was not a complete holiday without them. Thank heaven for the freezer - or I would have had none left by the time Yom Kippur rolled around. -Freya Blitstein Maslov

6 cups sifted flour
1 lg. cake of yeast
½ cup hot water
1 tsp. sugar
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 beaten eggs
2 more cups sifted flour, or more
1 ½ cups warmed milk
More oil to brush dough with
Sugar-cinnamon mixed together, to taste.

Put the flour in a very large mixing bowl - the dough will double or triple in size.
Make a "well" in the center (use a drinking glass to make the 'well')
Crumble a large cake of yeast in a bowl with ½ cup hot tap water and 1 tsp sugar, stir, and pour entire mix into the well, scraping sides of dish if necessary.
Sift a little extra flour on top of the yeast well. Not too much.
Let stand about 60-90 minutes.

Add sugar, salt, oil , beaten eggs, and 2 more cups sifted flour. Add the warmed milk slowly while mixing the mixture with your hand.

Knead until dough is no longer sticky. Add flour as needed; you may have to add up to 4 more cups of sifted flour – as you are working the flour by kneading.

Place dough back into bowl and let stand 30 minutes.

Punch down, and knead again. Put back into the bowl, cover loosely with a clean dishtowel, and place on top of the stove (a warm place) for about 1 hour, or until dough has risen above the top of the bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Punch down and knead for a few minutes – cut into 6 equal pieces.

For each piece: roll out thin, on lightly floured board. Brush the entire dough surface with oil. Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture over entire surface. Cut lengthwise into 3 or 4 strips. The width is your choice. Roll backwards ** – let stand for 10 minutes and bake for 30 minutes until golden.
- - take each strip and cut into triangular pieces to make crescent rolls
or roll the entire piece like you did for the jelly roll cookies – remember to pinch down both ends.

** What I mean by backwards is take your triangle and turn over so that the oiled/sugared side is on the table . Start at one end and roll so that the sugared side ends up on top. When you put them on the ungreased cookie sheet or baking pan – make sure that you place them with the open flap-side down or they will unroll in the oven. They will rise a little while you are waiting to put them in the oven – this is when you can tell if the flap will unroll and you can punch down to make sure they will stay 'rolled'.
Use same procedure for rolling the entire piece (like the Jelly Roll) - I will have to SHOW you this procedure – can't explain it well enough for you to understand. Just remember – the sugared side has to be face down…………. You'll see what I mean when I show you.
You can get creative here as well. Make any shape you like. The Crescents (from triangles), or the plain oblong 6 or 7 inches long and 3 or 4 inches wide. The latter is easiest – and quickest, because you can see how time-consuming this recipe is. But very well worth the effort!

  • Last Modified: 06-08-2012
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