Scufflers

A few weeks ago I had lunch in Holmfirth (Last of the summer wine country) in a little café called Scufflers.

I wondered what the name meant – was it to do with fighting or a garden implement?

I have now discovered it is a Yorkshire word  from the area around Castleford – and it is a used for a triangular shaped teacake or bread bun. In Poland these would be called bułeczki

I found a recipe and made some.

The enriched dough was super to work with – my shapes were a bit “random” – it would be easier to make round buns. They were delicious and I will certainty be adding this to my list of favourite doughs.

Ingredients

  • 450g strong flour
  • 30g butter
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of dried yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml water

Method

  • Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar, salt and dried yeast.
  • Mix together the egg and water.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
  • Add the egg mixture.
  • Using a knife at first and then your hands bring this together to make a dough.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes. (There is only one kneading so try and do the full time here).
  • Put the dough into a bowl and cover with a tea cloth and leave till it has doubled in size.
  • Dust a tray with flour.
  • Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.

 

  • Press the dough into a rough rectangular shape  – cut this into two squares and then divide these diagonally so you have eight triangles.
  • Place the triangles onto the floured baking tray.
  • Lightly dust with flour.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes – until golden brown.

 

 

Paragon – hand painted tea-plates – I could not resist the lovely shape and bought them recently.

Amusing Thought

In the café, some of the choices for  lunch were sandwiches on baguettes, ciabatta  or  pannini   – but despite its name –there was not a scuffler in sight!

Sauerkraut Rye Bread

My cousin who lives near Chicago recently sent me a recipe that has been used by her mum for Polish sauerkraut rye bread.

The recipe was from a bakery in Chicago and was printed in the Chicago Tribune on 2 March 1989.

Well of course I had to try this out!

 

The recipe is in cups, which except for liquids, I find hard to work with for consistency – so I  did some conversions into grams.

Note -The amount of sauerkraut was  3/4 of a cup – I measured out a loosely filled cup and weighed it.

This recipe makes one very large loaf – you can use it to make two loaves.

There is a large amount of flour – I mixed it by hand which was quite hard work but after the first rise it was a good dough to work with.

Ingredients

  • 880g plain flour (650g & 250g)
  • 170g rye flour
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 100g sauerkraut
  • 500ml warm water
  • Cornmeal or semolina for the baking tray
  • 1 egg yolk & 1 tablespoon of milk to glaze
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway for topping.

Method

  • Into a large bowl add 650g of plain flour and rye flour.
  • Rub in the butter.
  • Add the salt, sugar and yeast.
  • Chop the sauerkraut with a sharp knife into small pieces.
  • Add the sauerkraut to the flour and mix together.
  • Slowly add the water and bring the mixture together.
  • Slowly add the rest of the flour (you may not need it all) until the dough does not stick to the sides and start to gather it together into a ball.
  •  Knead the dough for around 5 minutes.

 

 

  • Cover the dough with a cloth or clingfilm.
  • Leave it to rise until it is double in size.
  • Punch the dough down and knead it again for a few minutes.
  • Allow the dough to double in size again
  • Punch the dough down again and knead it again lightly.
  • (You can divide it into two here if you want to make two loaves)
  • Put the dough onto a board and flatten it into a rectangle.
  • Shape into an oval.
  • Cover a baking tray with cornmeal or semolina.
  • Place the dough onto the baking tray.
  • Cover and let the dough rise until it is double in size.

 

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 6  – 200°C.
  • Brush the glaze onto the loaf
  • Sprinkle with caraway seeds note I would cover the seeds with glaze again as well next time.
  • Using a sharp knife make 4 or 5 diagonal cuts in the top of the loaf.
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Turn the oven down to GM4  – 180°C.
  • Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

 

It was delicious with a great texture!

I sliced up some of the loaf and froze it  – that worked well.

I might just add some more caraway seeds to the dough itself next time.

Scalded Rye Bread

I came across this recipe recently which I was told originates in Sweden*.

The recipe makes two loaves and the bread is very soft and tasty.

Boiling water is poured over the rye flour and it is left overnight. This must start the breakdown of some of the starch in the flour to sugars.

I used dried yeast when I made this.

The bread is baked at a lower temperature than many other breads.

Ingredients

For scalding

100g dark rye flour

300ml of boiling water

For  the rest

650g strong white flour

1 tablespoon of dried yeast

250ml of water

1.5 tablespoons of salt

Method

Put the rye flour into a bowl and pour the boiling water over it.

Mix this to a stiff paste.

Cover with a cloth and leave overnight.

The following morning, place the plain flour into a bowl and make a well and add the dried yeast followed by 100ml of water.

Cover and leave for around 15 minutes until all the yeast has dissolved.

Add the rest of the water (150ml), the salt and the scalded rye mixture.

Mix everything together well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you need to knead this for around 10 minutes – this can be hard as the dough is sticky  – I do this in the bowl for some of the time and then with wet hands I hold the dough up and sort of kneaded it in the air!

Put the dough back into the bowl and covered with clingfilm or a cloth and leave it for around 2 hours.

Divide the dough into two.

Flour your hands and stretch each piece into a rectangle around 2cm in thickness.

You now need to fold the dough into a long loaf.

With the short side facing you, fold this up a third gently onto the dough and then taking the top third pull this down to cover the two layers of dough.

Get a clean tea towel,  flour this and using a cake lifter place the loaf on this and cover it with the rest of the tea towel.

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Repeat this for the other loaf.

Leave the loaves to rest for around 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to GM8 – 230°C.

Use rye flour to flour two small baking sheets.

Place each  loaf onto a prepared sheet and place them side by side in the oven.

Turn the temperature down immediately to GM4 -180°C.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.

 

 

 

 

Variations

  • Add 1.5 tablespoons of caraway seeds to the dough mixture.
  • Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape them into cobs.
  • Change the proportions to use more rye – I used 200g of dark rye & 550g of strong plain flour & an extra 100ml of boiling water for the overnight scalding & baked the loaves in long loaf tins after shaping the dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea plate is by Taylor and Kent of Longton

*Polish – Swedish Connections

The Polish King Zygmunt III Waza (1587 – 1632) was the son of King John III of Sweden and Katarzyna Jagiellonka (daughter of King Zygmunt I Stary (the old) of Poland).  He was also the King of Sweden from 1592 – 1599.

PotopThe Deluge – was a period of invasion and war with Sweden in the mid 17th Century.

Szwed – The Swede is a very common surname in Poland . One of my father’s best friends had this surname.

There are 72 ferry sailings a week from Polish Baltic ports to Sweden.

 

 

 

Mixed Grains Bread

I have been concentrating on a variety of rye breads and had gone to my local Polish shop to buy some more rye flour when I saw some mąka orkiszkowa which is spelt flour.

Spelt –  Triticum spelta – is an older type of wheat known to have been used from around 5,000BC

Modern wheat is Triticum sativum.

Ingredients

250g spelt flour

250g strong wheat flour

150g oat flakes

50g sesame seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

20ml of sunflower oil

250ml milk

150ml water

1 tablespoon of fresh yeast

1 teaspoon of sugar

Method

Mix the milk and water and heat them slightly to hand heat.

Add the sugar and the yeast and wait for the yeast to froth up.

Mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture.

Use a large wooden spoon to mix everything together and then use your hand to bring the dough into a soft ball, kneading it lightly for around 3 minutes.

 

 

Leave to rise for at least 1 to 2 hours.

Grease a long Continental loaf tin (or a 2lb loaf tin).

Lightly press the dough into the tin.

Leave to rise – I found this took around 5 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C.

Bake for 35-40 minutes , checking after 25 minutes and cover with foil or greaseproof paper if it has browned too quickly on the top.

The base of the loaf will sound hollow  when it is cooked – put back for a few more minutes if not.

 

Once cool, I wrap the bread in a cloth.

 

 

I have found that the sliced bread, packed in a plastic box with a lid freezes very well.

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!

 

Palm Sunday & Holy Saturday

Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter and marks the beginning of Holy Week.

Palms are blessed in church on this day to commemorate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem.

Of course palm trees do not grow in Poland and so other plants are substituted. Often pussy willow  is used as the catkins are usually out around this time. My mother always called pussy willow – palma – the Polish for palm.

 

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Twigs For Sale in the Old Square in Kraków

 

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Palms are also made from  dried grasses and corn which are often dyed to make them colourful or from coloured paper which is rolled and the edges cut to make a fringe.

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In many villages the farmers would make huge palms for the procession completing with each other to see who had the biggest and best.

The Main Square in  Kraków – Decorated with Large Palms

 

 

It is still Lent in Holy Week so the food eaten is simple and often meat, butter and egg free. Most baking and cooking done now is to make food to eat at Easter.

As well as going to church services it is a time for houses to undergo a massive clean-up especially inside.

Holy Saturday is the last day of Lent – the day before Easter.

This is the only day in the Catholic year on which Mass is not celebrated.

In Poland there is the tradition on this day to have the food for Easter blessed.

This has its roots in the early medieval church in the 12th Century and the food would have originally  been just bread and eggs.

In times past in villages the priest would have gone around to people’s houses and blessed the food there. Nowadays people bring a basket of food to the church and the food is blessed with Holy Water and is then taken home and not eaten till the Easter Sunday Breakfast.

Once blessed this basket is called święconka meaning  that which has been blessed

The basket is lined with a cloth – often white linen and sometimes embroidered.  A white linen cloth is used to cover the basket. These cloths represent the white shroud in which Jesus was wrapped.

What goes into the basket depends on several factors but hard boiled eggs and bread are usually present. Everything in the basket has a symbolic meaning.

Eggs –  Christ’s Resurrection – a symbol of life.

Bread – Christ as the Bread of Heaven.

Salt –  Preservation & Purification & Zest for Life

Horseradish – The Harsh & Bitter sacrifice of Christ.

Cooked Meat & Sausage – Joy & Abundance of God’s mercy.

Babka – The risen  dough  – this represents the Risen Christ.

Shaped Lamb (butter/cake/bread) – Christ – The Lamb of God -(see Lamb Bread)

Cheese – Moderation.

Butter – End of Lent.

Getting a basket ready to take to Church

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See Babka

 

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People coming & going to church in Kraków with baskets of food.

 

 

 

Food for sale for Easter in Kraków.

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The special meal at Easter in Poland is the Easter Breakfast –  although it is a lot later than a normal breakfast being usually around 11am

This meal is a cold buffet and includes the food that was blessed in church on Easter Saturday.

The hard boiled eggs are cut up into quarters or eighths and they are shared between everyone present  at the start of the meal.

POSTSCRIPT

Since posting I received the following photographs from my friend in Leeds who is The Director of the Polish Saturday School.

Sugar Lambs to go in the basket for blessing.

 

Salt Dough Lambs – made for the Easter Fair