Bratislava Crescents


Here is another recipe that I was dying to learn how to make and finally got to try out after various online findings. Bratislava crescents or “Bratislavské rožky” are historically tied to my hometown and the capital of Slovakia – Bratislava. After some research, I have also discovered a little bit of their history, which I’ve found quite fascinating. Bratislavské rožky date to our region all the way back to 18th century. They’ve became very popular not only within the city limits but also were regularly delivered to imperial courts in Vienna, as well shipped worldwide. Thanks to August Schwappach, Bratislavské rožky got patented and even won gold medals in Amsterdam, Lyon, London and Chicago. Today, if you find yourself in Eastern Europe and would like to try them, depending which country your are in, the name may vary. You already know Slovak name. Over the centuries, Bratislava’s name has gone through numerous changes, so to this day different countries may lean towards the name’s origin specific for their region. In Austria they are called “Pressburg Kipfel” and in Hungary may be known more as “Pozsony Kifli”. Ok, now let’s get to the fun part.

Ingredients

  • 600 flour
  • 200 g butter
  • 80 g sugar
  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 5 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 eggs

Walnut Filling

  • 100 g chopped walnuts
  • 50 g powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs dark rum
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar (1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • hot milk, as needed

Poppy Seed Filling

  • 200 ground poppy seeds
  • 80 g powdered sugar
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar (1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • lemon zest
  • hot water, as needed

Instructions

  1. Warm up milk and mix in, until fully dissolved, yeast and honey. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes.
  2. Using either a food processor, blender like Vitamix or a Kitchen Aid mixer all dry ingredients and softened butter, until you get a very coarse consistency.
  3. Add yeast mixture and if using a Kitchen Aid mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky.
  4. Let your dough rise for about an hour. I like to put boiling water in a pan on a lower rack in my oven, and place dough with a clean towel over it and place it on a top rack. It’s a nice trick as it makes the rising process way more effective where your dough will at least double or triple in size.
    Dough, before and after rising
    Dough before and after rising.
  5. While your dough is rising, take this time to prepare your filling. Its consistency should be very thick, so during baking you won’t have your filling run out in case your dough cracks.
  6. Depending on how much dough you have, take part of it onto a floured surface to roll it out into large rectangular. You may find your dough very sticky, so use more flour as needed. It will become very elastic and stretchy.
  7. Cut your rolled out dough into about 3.5 inches wide strips and line them with your filling along side one edge.Dough strips with poppy seed filling
  8. Roll up the dough into long rolls. Don’t be afraid to pull the dough over your filling while rolling it up, as it should be quite stretchy.
  9. Cut your roll into about 3.5 inch long pieces. Pinch dough on each end to close the openings, if you can and roll them out into about twice their length while shaping them into “C”, if filled with walnuts or “U” if filled with poppy seeds.
    Crescents prior baking
    Top: “C”-shaped crescent filled with walnuts.
    Bottom: “U”-shaped crescents filled with poppy seed filling.
  10. Brush your crescents with egg yolks mixed with a little bit of milk and sugar.For each yolk, add 1 tbs of milk and 1 tsp of sugar.
  11. To achieve nice marbling effect on your crescents, move them to a drafty place for about 20 minutes until the egg wash dries and then move them back to a warm place for another 30 minutes to rise.
  12. When I made mini crescents, about 3.5 long, they took about 12 minutes to bake. While doubling their size, their baking time increased to about 20 minutes at 400 F.

My crescents may not be all that pretty as at the ones in video below but this was my first attempt at making them. Obviously, more practice is needed to perfect them, so they’d be more photogenic. I can guarantee you though that they are divine. 🙂

Short video interview in Slovak with maker of Bratislava crescents. Interesting fact I found out from this video was that “C”-shaped crescents are filled with walnut filling and poppy seed filling can be only found in “U” shaped crescents. Video credit: Bratislavské rožky