Chleb – Bread

Today is the third anniversary of my blog – I started posting on 4 July 2015 and this will be my 155th post!

I am really enjoying the research, the cooking, the photography  and the writing and have many more recipes to share with you all.

Chleb – Bread

A wedding tradition in Poland is to greet the bride and groom on their arrival at the reception with bread & salt.

The bread is seen as a gift from God and is a wish that they never go hungry.

The salt is a seen as a gift from the earth and is a wish that they overcome the bitterness of life.

Rye

  • To be called bread in Poland the loaves or rolls must contain some rye.
  • Wheat loaves or rolls are called bułki or bułeczki but this is also the name  given to some cakes and buns – hence there is often some confusion!
  • Żyto is the Polish for rye.
  • Rye   – Secale cereale  is a grain and is used for bread and for making some of the best vodkas.
  • It grew  wild in Turkey and  since the Middle Ages it has been cultivate widely in    Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Rye grows well  in poor soil and in cold and harsh conditions.
  • Nowadays rye is grown primarily in Eastern, Central and Northern Europe and the top three rye producing countries are Germany,  Russia & Poland.
  • Poland consumes the most rye per person at 32.4 kg/capita (2009) followed by Nordic and Baltic countries. (From an article in Wikipedia).

Sour dough

  • This method of bread making uses the natural yeasts that are found on the grain and in the atmosphere.
  • I had never tried using a sour dough method before.  I have now tried it out twice –  even as a former science student  – it felt like MAGIC! – the results were wonderful!
  • This recipe is adapted from one in found in my American book – Polish Heritage Cookery by Robert & Maria Syrybel.

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It takes around 3 days to make 2 loaves.

I suppose I could halve the recipe but I am quite happy to cut and freeze any surplus and the bread keeps for several days and can always be toasted.

Whey

This recipe uses whey which I often have if I have made any twarog – curd cheese.

If I do not have any whey I make a mixture of around 2 parts yoghurt to 1 part water instead.

Method

Day 1

At around 5 pm mix 150g of  rye flour with  250ml of hand hot water in a bowl.

Cover with a tea towel and leave for 24 hours.

Day 2

Again at around 5 pm,  mix 150g of  rye flour with  250ml of hand hot water and the mixture from the night before in a bowl and leave overnight or around 12 hours.

Day 3

In the morning

Ingredients

  • 350g rye flour
  • 350g (strong) plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds
  • 450 – 500ml  of whey  or a mixture of 2 parts yoghurt & 1 part water
  • Plus the starter mix from the days before

Method

  • Combine all the ingredients together.
  • Aim for a “wet” mix – it is harder to handle but gives the best results.
  • Knead for around 5 minutes – longer if you can!
  • Shape the dough – cut  it in half and make 2 oval-shaped loaves and place them on greased baking trays or you can put them into tins – I used  a round – loose bottomed tin – 20cm in diameter in my second bake.
  • Leave to rise  for around 5 hours.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Place some water in a roasting tray at the bottom of the oven.
  • *
  • They take around 50 minutes to bake – I swap the two trays around after about 20 minutes.

Delicious with just butter – Well worth the wait!

Published by

jadwiga49hjk

I love cooking and baking. I love trying out new recipes and currently am trying out many old favourites from my Polish cookbooks and family recipes. I am trying out many variations, often to make them easier but still delicious. I collect glass cake stands and china tableware, mainly tea plates, jugs and serving dishes, many of which I use on a daily basis. They are an eclectic mixture from the 20th & 21st century.

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