• This a very popular “bread” in Polish and is of Jewish origin.
  • In olden days this would not be called bread as it does not contain any rye flour.
  • This is made from wheat flour and is a slightly sweet loaf and is more a ‘bulka’- more a yeast cake than a bread.
  • In English books it is often called – Challah.
  • I have found several recipes and combined them.
  • The dough is enriched with eggs, milk and butter.
  • I have used honey as the sweetener as this is more traditional than sugar.
  • The dough is plaited using at least three strands.
  • A glaze of egg yolk and milk is used – but this tends to burn easily – I might try egg white next time, which I have found to be better  
  • Poppy seeds, sesame seeds or  kruszonka – (crumble mixture) is scattered over the egg glaze.


  • 550g strong or plain flour
  • 125ml milk
  • 20g dried yeast
  • 2 eggs – beaten.
  • 2 tablespoons butter – melted
  •  5- 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons of runny honey
  • *
  • Egg yolk & 1 tablespoon of water – (I will try just an egg white next time)
  • Poppy seeds, sesame seeds or crumble mixture for topping


  • Make a starter using 3 tablespoons of the flour, the yeast, the milk and 1 tablespoon of the honey.
  • *
  • Leave until frothy and rising.
  • *
  • But the rest of the flour in a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the starter.
  • Pour in the beaten egg.
  • Pour in the melted butter.
  • Pour in some of the water and start to draw the flour and other ingredients together to make a soft dough,
  • Add any more water as required.
  • Once you have a ball of soft dough move the ball onto a wooden board.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough back into the bowl.
  • Cover and leave until the dough has risen and doubled in size.
  • *
  • Grease a large baking tray.
  • Divide the dough into three equal parts.
  • Roll out each piece into three strands.
  • Plait the three strands together.
  • Tuck each end under.
  • Place the loaf onto the baking tray.
  • *
  • Leave for 20-30 minutes.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200 C.
  • *
  • Brush the loaf with the egg yolk mixture.
  • Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds.
  • Bake for  25 – 30  minutes.
  • Check after 20 minutes and cover with baking paper if it starts to burn.


  • The original Polish word for bagel is bajgiel.
  • It is a yeast based wheat bread product, which is parboiled and then baked.
  • They are similar to obwarzanki, which were known in Medieval times.
  • They are shaped by hand into a ring.
  • Bagels are often topped with salt, sesame seed or poppy seeds.
  • They appear to be first mentioned in the early 17th century.
  • The Jewish name beygal name stems from German beugal, which means a ring or a bracelet.
  • One legend, which does not have much substance, is that they were named in honour of the King of Poland, Jan Sobieski III, who led forces to save Austria from Turkish invaders. The baker, aware of the king’s love of horses, shaped the yeast dough into a circle and called it a beugel, which is Austrian for “stirrup.” Or the Germn bügel, a stirrup
  • The best sweetener in the dough is honey.
  • The ingredients are mixed and kneaded to form the dough.
  • The dough  is shared into a circle.
  • The bagels are best proofed for at least 12 hours at a low temperature of around –  4.5°–10 °C
  • Each bagel in boiled in water for 2-3 minutes that may contain additives such as lye or honey. 
  • Remove and drain.
  • Brush with egg white.
  • Sprinkle tops with salt, poppy or sesame seeds.
  • Then baked at GM6 -200°C for around 10 minutes
  • *
  • This is the first time I have made them and had looked at many different recipes – I was so pleased with these – they were super.
  • Best eaten fresh but good split and toasted the next day too.


  • 450g plain flour
  • 250ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • *
  • 1½litres of water to boil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • *
  • Egg white – beaten
  • Poppy or sesame seeds or salt


  • Mix the yeast, warm water and honey and leave for around 10 minutes.
  • Mix the flour and the salt
  • Add the yeast mixture to the flour.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  • Leave the ball of dough in a covered bowl for 1 hour.
  • Take the bowl into a cool place or fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
  • *
  • Cut the dough into 8 equal parts.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten it.
  • Using your fingers and thumb make a hole in the middle and stretch out to form a ring.
  • Place on a board these on a board and leave at room temperature for 1- 1½ hours.
  • *
  • Pre-heat oven to GM6- 200 °C.
  • Flour a couple of baking sheets
  • *
  • Heat the water with the honey, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  • Parboil each bagel for 2-3 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove them.
  • Drain on a cooling rack.
  • *
  • Brush the tops with beaten egg white.
  • Sprinkle with poppy , sesame seeds or salt or leave plain.
  • Bake for  around 10 minutes till golden.
  • Take off the baking sheets and leave to cool on a baking rack.
  • Bagel served with egg mayonnaise and chives on a  W.H. Grindley & Co Ltd – Hawaii design plate from the 1960s.


  • Kanapka (singular) and kanapki (plural) are the Polish for sandwich and sandwiches.
  • Kanapka comes from the French canapé (singular).
  • These are always open sandwiches.
  • In both languages the word comes from the word for sofa – with the idea of something sitting on a sofa.
  • They date from the mid 1800s.
  • They can be large sandwiches, which are the mainstay of a Polish breakfast – śniadanie or second breakfast  – drugie śniadanie (Lunch in England).
  • They can be cut into small squares or rectangles to become “finger food”  – hors d’oeuvres – starters.
  • In Polish these are called przekąski or zakąski.
  • *
  • The list of toppings is endless with: meat, fish, eggs and cheese as well as gherkins, chives, tomatoes and many other vegetables on top.
  • The bread can be buttered or not if the topping is soft such as pâté or egg mayonnaise  

Toppings Suggestions – the list is endless

  • Cream cheese
  • Yoghurt cheese
  • Cured meats 
  • Roast meats
  • Smoked sausages
  • Fish spread
  • Meat spread
  • Pâté
  • Gherkins
  • Tomatoes
  • Chives
  • Onions
  • Salad leaves
  • Yoghurt Cheese with Chives on Rye – served on Greenway plates
  • Egg Mayonnaise with slices of  kotlety –  Polish burgers and tomato – served on a vintage Pyrex plate.


  •  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.

Pampuchy – 1

  • The word pampuchy is another of those many items of food translated as dumplings.
  • These are steamed yeast buns also known as  bułeczki naparze  or kluski drożdżowe.
  • The  puch part  in the word mean down as in duck or goose down and signifies lightness and fluffiness. (Though I have also read the word may come from a German word for pancake).
  • In olden times these were steamed using a cloth over a wide pan of water with a domed lid.
  • I use my 2 tier steamer and can do 2 layers of 4 at a time.
  • I think they are similar to Chinese steamed buns but doubt they would have had butter in them as that is not used much there.
  • Maybe no egg yolks either as the Chinese buns do not look as cream coloured.


  • 350g plain flour
  • 250 warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of dried yeast
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter


  • To the milk add the sugar, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the flour.
  • Leave to froth up for around 20 minutes.
  • Add the yeast mixture to the flour and salt and add the egg yolks.
  • Mix together to make a rough ball.
  • Add the melted butter and mix it in until you have a ball again.
  • Knead for about 5 minutes.
  • Cover and leave to rise for about 1 hour.
  • Bring the dough together and gently knead for about 2 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 16 equal parts.
  • Roll them gently into smooth balls.
  • Place on a tray or board, cover and leave for about 30 minutes.
  • Steam them for 10 minutes.
  • *
  • Best served immediately.
  • *
  • They go well with a dish with a lot of sauce such as gulasz or mushroom sauce.

Here they were served with beef pulpety in a gulasz style pepper & tomato sauce.

Onion Rolls

  • When I visited one of my aunties in Białystok we often talked about cooking and recipes.
  • She mentioned making making bread rolls with onions on top.
  • I did not get an actual recipe and looked some up instead.
  • You can call these cebulaki – (cebula = onion in Polish).
  • However I did find that they are often called  biały as they are a traditional recipe from Białystok.
  • I discovered you will find these for sale in New York as they were brought there by Polish and Jewish émigrés from Białystok around 1920.
  • The traditional topping is fried onion and poppy seeds.

Ingredients – Rolls

  • 200g & 50g plain flour
  • 150 ml warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of dried yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white – for brushing

Ingredients – Topping

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoons of butter
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Ground pepper
  • ½ tablespoon of poppy seeds

Method – Rolls

  • Mix the milk, yeast, sugar and 50g of plain flour.
  • Leave for 20 minutes
  • Put the 200g  of plain flour, salt, yolks and yeast mixture in a bowl
  • Mix together to form a soft dough.
  • Add a little extra milk if this is too dry.
  • Knead for 10 minutes – set a timer – till you get a smooth ball.
  • Cover and leave for 1½ – 2 hours.
  • Line the baking tray with baking paper.
  • *
  • Make the onion topping.
  • *
  • Lightly knead the dough for a few minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 6.
  • Roll each one to make a ball.
  • Place the balls on the baking tray and flatten each one.
  • Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven  to GM6 – 200°C.
  • Using finger tips or the base of a tumbler flatten the centre of each roll.
  • Brush with beaten egg white.
  • Put  the onion and poppy seed mixture into the centre of each roll. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • *
  • Serve warm or cold.

Method – Onion Topping

  • Thinly slice the onion and cut the slices into quarters.
  • Fry the onion in butter till golden brown.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • Mix in the poppy seeds.

Using Dried Sourdough

On a recent visit to my local Polish shop I came across packets of dried sour dough.

I had never seen these before and bought a couple to try them out.

There was a recipe printed on the back of the packet and this is what I used.









  • I have noticed many Dr. Oetker products in Poland and in England.
  • I thought the company name was made up but have found this is not so.
  • Doctor August Oetker was a German chemist and was one of the people who invented baking powder.
  • He started a company in 1891 and the first product sold was Bakin, which was a measured amount of baking powder to be added to 500g of plain flour when making a cake. 
  • His family still run what is now a multi-national company.


  • 150g rye flour
  • 350g strong flour
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet of dried sourdough
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 400ml of lukewarm water (approx)
  • *
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons of seeds eg – sesame, linseed, caraway
  • *
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame or caraway seed
  • 1 teaspoon of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of water


  • In a large bowl mix the rye flour, strong flour, sugar, dried sour dough and the yeast.
  • Slowly add the water to get a soft dough that you can knead.
  • Knead dough for 10 minutes, set a timer.
  • Cover the dough – a shower cap is good – and leave in a warm place to rise.
  • This could be for an hour or more.
  • *
  • Line a long Continental style loaf tin – approx 10 by 30cm.
  • Use a single sheet and push the paper into the corners.
  • *
  • Add the oil and seeds to the risen dough and mix well in.
  • Knead to a smooth dough for 10 minutes.
  • *
  • Push the dough into the tin and smooth flat.
  • Brush the top with water, seeds and flour.
  • Cut slashes with a knife in the top.
  • Cover and leave for an hour or more to rise.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to GM5 – 190°C.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.


Yorkshire Tea Cakes

I have been looking at some old Yorkshire recipes and tried out this recipe for soft bread buns – tea cakes in Yorkshire  – bułeczki in Polish.

This recipe is so easy and the tea cakes are delicious – I think I will be using this recipe often.


  • 340g plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of dried yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 30g of butter
  • 220ml of milk & water – lukewarm


  • Mix the yeast, sugar and milk and leave to froth up.
  • In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour.
  • Add the salt.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
  • Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for an hour.
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Divide into 6 pieces and shape into flattened circles.
  • Place the circles, evenly spaced onto the greased baking tray.
  • Cover and leave for 30-40 minutes
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 – 220°C
  • Bake for 10- 11 minutes.
  • Leave on the tray for a few minutes then put them on a wire rack to cool.

Wholemeal Bread

  • Whilst doing some research on old Yorkshire recipes, I came across this one for a wholemeal loaf.
  • I used wholemeal spelt flour.
  • It is so easy and quick to make and the result is wonderful.
  • The original recipe was for a much larger amount – I have cut it down.
  • Milk is used in this recipe and I think this is why it is so good.
  • There is no kneading or shaping.
  • However you have to bake it in a tin.
  • It has a super crunchy crust.


  • 500g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 15g of dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 125ml of lukewarm water
  • 400ml of lukewarm milk
  • ½ teaspoon of salt


  • Mix the yeast and sugar with the lukewarm water.
  • Leave it to start frothing.
  • Put the flour into a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre.
  • Stir in the yeast mixture and some of the lukewarm milk.
  • Leave it for 10 minutes.
  • *
  • Beat in more of the milk to give a stiff batter.
  • Add the salt and beat some more.
  • Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
  • *
  • Pre-heat oven to GM6 – 200°C.
  • Very well grease a 20 cm diameter baking tin.
  • Using a large spatula put the dough into the tin.
  • Leave for 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.


Sourdough Crackers

  • Have you got a lot of wheat sourdough starter?
  • Many  instructions say to discard some of your wheat flour starter before feeding it.
  • Do you consider that is a big waste?
  • Here is a recipe that uses some of your starter.
  • Use equal weights of starter and flour.


  • 100g of unfed sourdough starter
  • 100g strong flour
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g butter (or 30ml more oil)
  • Large pinch of salt
  • *
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh rosemary


  • Pre-heat your oven to GM4 180°C.
  • Line a large baking tray.
  • Melt the butter.
  • Mix all the ingredients to give a soft dough.
  • Roll out the dough as thinly as you can.
  • Put the dough onto the tray – pulling it out to make it thinner.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and press in some rosemary.
  • Use a knife or pizza wheel to cut the dough into rough squares.
  • Bake for around 25- 30 minutes.

Wholemeal Flour & Rosemary

Rye Starter & Caraway Seeds

These are great as soup accompaniments, with dips or cheese.

I have made some with 50g demerara sugar in the dough and sugar not salt sprinkled on top. and then with 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds as well as the sugar.


Other Variations to try

  • Buckwheat flour
  • Rye flour
  • Mixture of flours
  • Other herbs
  • Other seeds
  • and so on ….