This is a very old recipe for an unleavened, flat bread – that is one made without yeast.
In Polish, bread has to contain some rye flour, so these are not called bread as they are made from wheat flour.
Podpłomyczki – płomyczek means flame and pod means under – these would have originally been baked on stones placed on a camp fire.
The most original recipes are made with just flour, water and salt* and are cooked on a cast iron griddle – these I think are delicious.
I think podpłomyczki are cousins of the rotlis from Gujarat that my friend taught me how to make!
As well as this recipe I tried out two other versions.
The first had an egg added to the mixture – I do not think it was any better.
The second used eggs and milk rather than water and were made slightly thicker and one suggestion was to bake them in the oven.
I tried baking in the oven, on a griddle, both thick and thin. I thought they were all horrible!
So I am only writing up this one recipe which was really good.
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Mix the flour and the salt.
Add the water and mix to form ball of soft dough.
Place the dough into a plastic bag and leave it for 30 minutes.
On a floured board flatten the dough into a thick circle.
Cut the dough into eight.
Form each peice into a ball and then roll this out thinly using a rolling pin.
Cook these using a cast iron frying pan or griddle.
Do not use any fat or oil.
Turn then over to cook both sides.
Bamboo tongs are very useful.
Watch as they puff up as the water in the dough turns to steam !
They are best eaten straight from the pan.
Otherwise wrap them in a tea towel to keep them warm.
I ate them with butter and with butter and honey – delicious!
* Salt – Polish Salt Mine & Legend
In southern Poland there is one of the oldest salt mines in the world – the Wieliczka salt mine. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has produced salt since the 13th Century until 2007.
Legend has it that when Princess Kinga, a Hungarian Princess, became betrothed to Bolesław V, Wstydliwy (Bolesław V, the Chaste), Prince of Krakow, she asked for salt as her dowry and then threw her betrothal golden ring into a Hungarian mine.
On her arrival in Poland she asked a miner to dig in the ground and there he found her golden ring inside a rock of salt and that place became the site of the Wieliczka salt mine.
Because of her good works, Princess Kinga became Saint Kinga after her death.
Photos taken at Wieliczka