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Hamantaschen (Jewish Purim pastries)

Kuchen Dough

1 lb flour
2 oz caster sugar
1/2 pint milk
pinch salt
1/2 oz yeast
2 oz margarine
1 egg

Cream yeast with a teaspoonful of the sugar. Melt the margarine in
the milk and when just lukewarm, pour it onto the creamed yeast.

Sift flour and salt into a _warm_ bowl, make a well in the center
and pour in the yeast mixture. Gradually work in the flour from
the sides and knead to a smooth dough; cover and leave in a warm
place to rise 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Then add sugar and beaten egg and
knead thoroughly. Roll out and use as required.

For hamentaschen, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick, cut into
4-inch rounds, and brush edges with melted margarine or oil. Spread
with desired filling and fold edges to form three-cornered cakes.
Brush the top with warm honey, [I'd go with egg wash] leave in a
warm place to rise till bulk is doubled, then bake in a moderately
hot oven (400 F) till golden brown. Any favorite jams or marmalades
can be used for the filling, and ready-made poppy-seed filling can
be bought in cans. Chopped almonds or walnuts can be mixed in with
any of these.

Prune filling: Remove pits and chop 1/2 lb. cooked prunes; add
grated rind and juice of half a lemon. (Can also be combined with
poppy-seed filling.)

Cream cheese filling: Add a little sugar and a few currants or
raisins to soft cream cheese.

In this East-European style, the filling doesn't peek out, as with
cookie dough. The edges of the yeast dough are pinched shut,
forming seams, then usually brushed with an egg wash and poppy
seeds (or chopped nuts, perhaps) sprinkled on top.


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