Make Ahead

My Grandmother's Cocosh

December  9, 2014
Author Notes

Most Hungarians, or people of Hungarian descent, or maybe even just New Yorkers, know cocosh and dream of cocosh and consider cocosh to be part of their cultural heritage. In my mind, my grandmother is synonymous with cocosh. You walk into her house, and there's a plate of cocosh, neatly sliced, on the table. She's comes for a visit, and there's a roll of cocosh, neatly wrapped, emerging from her bag. She even travels with the recipe, so she'll have it with her, just in case. (You never know when you might need an emergency roll of cocosh. Truth.) Cocosh, for those of you who don't have grandmother like mine, is a rolled yeast cake with a cocoa filling. It is the most perfect thing- a childhood memory of warmth and yeast and oozing chocolate, that actually lives up to itself. —Hungry Souls

  • Makes 3 large rolls
  • The dough:
  • 3 pounds white flour
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water + pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • Filling
  • vegetable oil for brushing
  • 3 parts white sugar: 1 part cocoa
In This Recipe
  1. 1. In a small bowl, mix together the warm water, yeast and pinch of sugar. Set aside while it proofs
  2. 2. Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the flour. Add the milk, then the sour cream, the eggs and then finally the yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Knead in the oil. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out your mixing bowl, and lightly grease it. Return the dough to the bowl, turning it to coat it in oil. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  3. 3. When the dough has risen, remove from bowl and divide into three equal parts. Place one piece of dough on a lightly floured surface. Keep the other pieces of dough covered while you work. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about the size of say, a 9x13 sheet pan. You want the dough to be thin, but not so much so that it is transparent. Brush it with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Sprinkle on some of the sugar-cocoa mixture brushing it so that it spreads and becomes paste-like. Add more filling until it no longer forms a paste and you have a layer of sandy looking sugar-cocoa mixture. Starting from the edge of the width closest to you, tightly roll the dough. Once the dough is rolled, tuck the edges in on the themselves so that the filling doesn't spill out, and lay the roll, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Cover and let rise until doubled. This will take anywhere from 30-45 minutes.
  4. 4. While the loaves are rising, preheat oven to 350 F. When the loaves have finished rising, brush the tops with the beaten egg yolk. Bake for 30 minutes until browned on top. Cool on rack. If serving immediately, slice and serve. If not when cool, wrap the loaves well and store them in the fridge. Cocosh has the tendency to go stale very, very quickly if not properly stored. The loaves can also be frozen whole. They'll stay a good while in your freezer-about 2-3 months.

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