The pastry consists of a thin yeast pastry ribbon wound around a wooden cylinder, heavily sprinkled with sugar, thus becoming a helix shaped cylindrical pastry or a pastry roll that sometimes tapers very slightly towards the end. It is then baked on a hand-turned, tapered, wooden spit, rolled slowly on the wooden cylinder above an open fire. The dough is yeast-raised, flavored with sweet spices, the most common being cinnamon, topped with walnuts or almonds, and sugar.
The sugar is caramelized on the kürtöskalács surface, creating a sweet, crisp crust. Kürtős kalács originates from Transylvania, a historical region in present-day Romania with a sizable Hungarian population and its name derives from the Hungarian word kürtő that refers to chimney.
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