•  Obwarzanki  or  Obarzanki  – the name suggests  parboiling.
  • Nowadays around 150,000 are sold on the streets of Kraków a day, mainly from carts
  • They are known from mediaeval times.
  • There is a mention of them in a document from 1394.
  • It is said the Queen Jadwiga (1373 – 1399) enjoyed them especially with herrings.
  • *
  • I have found many different recipes.
  • The ones in Kraków are made with yeast.
  • The two recipes I tried did not contain yeast.
  • I tried a recipe with plain flour, eggs and icing sugar.
  • The dough was made into rolls, which were plaited together.
  • This was quite hard to do!
  • After par-boiling seeds such as poppy or sesame seeds or salt can be sprinkled on them before baking.
  • The following recipe is easier to make into a simple circle shape. 
  • I preferred the texture and taste of these.
  • This is the recipe I will use again.


  • 300g plain flour
  • 160ml slightly warmed milk
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • *
  • Water with 1-2 tablespoon of sugar or honey to boil.
  • *
  • Poppy or sesame seeds or salt flakes for top


  • Mix the flour and salt.
  • Add the egg and enough milk to bring the mixture together.
  • Knead the dough until you have a smooth soft ball.
  • Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Divide the dough into 8 even pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a long thin roll.
  • Make a sort of flattened S shape.
  • Cut at the bends into 3 equal pieces.
  • Join each piece into a circle and pinch the joint together.
  • *
  • Get ready a large pan of water and add honey.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Drop in the circles, one by one, around 5-6 to the pan.
  • When they float to the top, leave for a few more minutes.
  • Remove them with wooden tongs, shake of any water.
  • Place on a wire rack whilst waiting for the rest to cook.
  • *
  • Place them on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with poppy seeds ,sesame seeds or salt flakes.
  • Bake for 20mins.

Served with here with scrambled eggs and smoked ham on Royal Doulton – Tapestry 1966 – 1988.


  •  Obwarzanki go stale very quickly, they are usually made daily.
  • But you can heat them up again or toast them lightly.

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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.

4 thoughts on “Obwarzanki”

  1. Dear Jadwiga (I think that was my grandmother’s sister’s name and they were born in Krakow),
    Are these like bagels or pretzels? It seems every culture has a variation on things like crepes or blintzes, etc. What do these TASTE like? Are they a little sweet, like a sweet bread, or are they savory? Is the texture dense or fluffy? I’d enjoy knowing as I will probably never go there. (150,000 a day????)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Obwarzanki are older than bagels (bajgiel – in Polish) I will be writing about these once I have done more research. Bagels are yeast based. They originated in Poland. They are softer and fluffier. Obwarzanki are denseand a bit chewy – they have a very slight sweetness from the honey in the water in which they are parboiled. Obwarzanki in Krakow are drier than my recipe and much larger.
    I like my little ones better.
    Soft pretzels are similar but they are parboiled in water and baking soda before baking. They have salt sprinkled on them. The shape is from an angel crossing its arms to touch the opposite shoulder as in prayer. Hard pretzels are crunchy.

    Liked by 1 person

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