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Jun 1, 2009 11:46 AM

rugelach w/yeast

what does yeast add to the texture of a rugelach dough? does anyone have a good rugelach recipe that calls for active dry or instant/rapid rise yeast?

i've tried CI's recipe (flour, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, sugar) and ina's (flour, cream cheese, butter, sugar) but i'd like to try another for contrast. martha's calls for egg yolks and i might give that a try too.


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  1. the yeast is there to do its standard job as a yeast-free recipes, the eggs are typically the leavening agent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      thanks. most of the cream cheese dough recipes i've seen don't call for any eggs or a leavener (garten, CI, dorie greenspan, etc). does a rugelach with yeast or another form of leavener come out puffy and less flaky? how does the texture change?

      1. re: superfinespot

        i wouldn't say "puffy," but maybe a little less dense.

    2. here's a recipe i found in my files from a few years ago. i'm not sure where it originated, but IIRC, it was pretty darned good!


      For the Dough

      3 cups flour, plus more for rolling out dough
      ¼ cup granulated sugar
      ¼ tsp salt
      1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into chunks
      1 tbsp plus 1½ tsp rapid-rise yeast
      ¼ cup warm water
      ½ cup sour cream
      2 eggs, separated
      1 tsp pure vanilla extract
      ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest

      For the Filling

      ½ cup granulated sugar
      1½ cups finely chopped walnuts, pistachios or pecans (depending on jam flavor)
      3 tbsp ground cinnamon
      1 cup fruit preserves or jam (any flavor)

      Combine flour, sugar and salt, and add to bowl of food processor; drop cut-up butter over top. Pulse to cut butter into flour, until mixture is grainy.

      In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water and a pinch of sugar, and stir to dissolve. Add to flour mixture, along with sour cream, egg yolks, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Process mixture just until it forms a ball, about 10 seconds. Divide dough into 2 sections, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 20 minutes.

      Preheat oven to 375.

      Puree fruit preserves or jam in food processor until smooth, and set aside.
      Combine sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts in a bowl and set aside.

      On lightly floured surface, roll out chilled dough (one at a time) until each one is 1/8-inch thick, then trim them into 12-inch circles. Spread ¼ - ½ cup pureed preserves over each dough circle (the amount you use is up to you depending on how “jammy” you like them), and sprinkle half of the sugar, nuts and cinnamon mixture evenly over the surface of each one.

      Cut each circle into 12 wedges and roll from wide side to point into crescent shapes.
      Lightly beat egg whites just until slightly frothy, and use a pastry brush to paint a light coating of egg white on each crescent.

      Set rugelach on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, and sprinkle each with a pinch of sugar. Place in 375-degree oven, and immediately reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake until slightly golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.


        During my quest for the ideal rugelach, many CH's came forward to lend their time & talent. I learned a great deal in the process and continue to explore new doughs, new fillings. I've come to prefer a non yeast dough, but it's stictly personal perference.

        So-I'm sharing the wealth thanks in large part to all the generous CH's who weighed in some time back. Enjoy and happy baking, superfinespot!

        2 Replies
        1. re: HillJ


          can you describe the difference between yeasted and non-yeasted doughs?

          i've done brody's recipe but i'll try out some of the others.

          i have one issue that you might help with? when i bake the dough after chilling it filled in the fridge, the dough barely browns after 25 minutes. if i let the dough come to room temperature again before putting it in the oven, i have a feeling that they won't hold shape in the oven. any suggestions?

          eta: i love the creative filling ideas! feel free to mention some more : )

          1. re: superfinespot

            superfinespot, I would compare yeast vs. non-yeast rugelach dough the same way I would compare bread vs. cake. If you want the dough to "shine" go yeast if you want the filling to shine go non yeast. The mouth feel is diff. Flakey or cakey? :)

            When I bake off a batch these days, I've taken the dough out of the freezer let it come to a room temp about 20 mins. Just long enough to roll, fill and bake. My oven browns the dough nicely. I agree w/you that a cold dough to oven won't brown well. But unless you are baking on a particular warm weather day a slightly chilled, workable dough should be fine after coming to room temp. Tip: don't over fill the individual rugelach, don't over handle the dough.

            Some of our fav filling ideas have included tiny pieces of fresh fruit. Peaches and apples browned in a big of raw sugar with finely chopped nuts. Nutella is a big hit with my kids. My relatives love the purees (strawberry, prune, poppy seed). The fillings are endless.

            Last summer I turned out a big batch of tomato jam and tried using it as a filling for rugelach. Big hit with my girl friends who generously try just about anything I give a whirl.

            My best tip really is to keep practicing the dough. Fillings come much easier. Once you master the dough (whichever recipe you decide on) you'll be making rugelach regularly.

            Good luck!