The Polish word for yeast is drożdże and drożdżówka is any sweet cake or bun made using yeast.
Often the cake is a large flat cake ( placek) made in a large roasting tin.
This yeast cake is made with plain flour not strong flour and the mixture is mixed with a wooden spoon to form a soft mixture and is not kneaded.
My late father has two cousins living in Białystok, North East Poland, they are both wonderful cooks.
This yeast cake is based on a recipe given to me by one of these aunties.
As with any recipe made with yeast, timings are so unpredictable depending on many variables including the room temperature.
I always bake with yeast when I am at home for most of the day with other activities to do whilst waiting for the dough to rise etc.
400g plain flour
250ml of tepid milk
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
150g of raisins or sultanas
10g of fresh yeast or 5g of dried yeast
2 tablespoons of plain flour
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
Mix the yeast with 2 tablespoons of the milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and leave this till it starts bubbling.
In a bowl whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
Add the oil and whisk again.
Add the milk and the raisins or sultanas and mix well.
Add the flour and mix this all together with a wooden spoon to form a very loose, soft dough.
Cover the bowl with clingfilm or a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise.
Make the crumble topping by rubbing the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs and then stir in the sugar.
Grease and line a large roasting tin.
25cm x 34 cm or 22cm x 32cm.
Put the risen dough into the tin – use a spatula to spread it out.
Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top and leave to rise again.
Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C.
Place the risen cake into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Then lower the temperature to GM5 – 190°C and bake for another 10 minutes – keeping an eye on this and cover with foil if it looks like it is burning.
You might want also want to move it down a shelf for the last 5 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes then take it out and remove from the greaeproof paper – so it does not go soggy on the base.
Served on Sonnet by Royal Doulton, 1971 – 1998.
As with most yeast cakes this is best eaten as soon as possible as it will soon go stale – you might need to invite round lots of friends and family!
If all is not eaten on the day of baking, I cut the cake into slices and pack into a plastic container and freeze – these are then toasted and served with butter at a later date.
Toasted and buttered yeast cake served on Las Palmas by Aynsley from the 1960s.
The dried fruits added can be varied and I have made this with raisins, mixed peel and 1 teaspoon of mixed spice.
Served on Counterpoint by Royal Doulton, 1973 – 1987.
Other dried fruit options can be used, such as apricots, cranberries, pears or prunes and so on, chopping larger fruits into small pieces.
I made this with apricots, sultanas and a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
The dried fruits add sweetness to the cake and I think the small amount of sugar works well – you can if you like add a few extra tablespoons of sugar.