From the oven
Not many people know that “precel” and “bajgiel” are two different things, often wrongly used as synonyms of obwarzanek. Those who constantly confuse bajgiel, precel and obwarzanek can remember the difference by imagining that Kraków obwarzanek is a kind of a baked bracelet, bajgels from Kazimierz hanging on a string are beads, while the small precelek can be put on a finger – just like a ring.
Obwarzanek from Kraków
a miniature roll with a hole in the middle, sprinkled with fennel seeds, cumin or poppy seeds, is a baking peculiar to old Kazimierz. It used to be ritual bread, given to Jewish women in labour by the Jewish community. Bajgiel was first mentioned in the 17th century.
Real precel have a shape of a flattened knot, they are little, and have no soft inside. They are great for storing, which admittedly convinced king Jagiełło to order them from Kraków bakers as provisions for soldiers marching towards Grunwald.
The tradition of baking the bread known as prądnicki dates back to the 15th century. The author of its recipe – the cook of bishop Wojciech Jastrzębiec – reportedly undertook to deliver this bread to the table of his master in return for the possession of lands in Prądnik Biały near Kraków. Legend has it that the product was so appreciated by the residents of Kraków, that the first loaf baked with the use of new flour after harvest would be brought by the Kraków borough leader as a gift to the king himself. The character of prądnicki bread was recreated in the 20th century as a result of some impressive culinary archaeology. Today it is baked from sourdough and has a pleasant smell and taste, also excellent when stale. It has a characteristic, dark brown, porous crust, sprinkled with a thin layer of rye bran. It is baked in Kraków and is made of top quality Małopolska flour.
Baked by women from villages situated in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. Initially made only with the use of rye flour. With time, wheat flour was added, and the proportions of the mixture are the secret of the excellent taste of jurajski bread until today. The recipe composed back then is still used for production today, paying attention to the distinctive features of the baking: an oblong shape of the loaf, characteristic angled cuts on the flour-sprinkled crust and the motif of the bakery basket plaiting that’s imprinted on it.
|Quern bread from Łomna
The inheritor of home bread that was baked from generation to generation by families living in Łomna near Wiśnicz. Flour ground on querns was used for baking, and depending on the affluence of the household, the bread was flavoured with herbs. Bread from Łomna started being exported as early as before the war, making its way to lordly tables in the near Nowy Wiśnicz. Today it is still popular on the local and regional markets, singled out for its homey taste and authenticity of the recipe. It has a golden brown crust, baked until crunchy, which is additionally sprinkled with crushed wheat grain.
|Kukiełka Lisiecka and Podegrodzka
Survived as the only representative of wheat bread, which used to be typical for the surroundings of Kraków. It stopped being baked outside Liszki already towards the end of the 18th century. Today kukiełka lisiecka is spindle-shaped, overgrown, air-filled inside, and has a matte crust. For many it constitutes a necessary companion to lisiecka sausage. However, connoisseurs claim that that true harmony of taste can only be achieved when eating fresh kukiełka with butter alone.
Completely different from kukiełka lisiecka, it was reborn as a regional culinary attraction of the Podegrodzie area, where since the middle of the 20th century it acted as ritual bread. Kukiełka – a large, sweet, golden brown plait baking made with white flour – was given to a child by its godparents as a symbol of happiness and prosperity for the entire life. Although the recipe for kukiełka is passed from one generation to another, only the most respected local housewives are skilled enough to bake it.
Kołacze were formerly baked for weddings.
They used to act as ritual bread, a symbol of affluence, and a promise of happiness for the newlyweds. The round bread made with wheat flour, sweetened with sugar, with a thick layer of soft ground cheese, browned in the oven – such is today’s kołacz jodłownicki from the Limanowa area, whose taste will take you back to the good old times.
|Jura kołacz, baked on the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, has maintained its role as a wedding cake until today. The engaged couple give it to their family and friends two weeks before the wedding party. As opposed to kołacz jodłownicki, kołacz jurajski is decorated not only with cheese, but also with poppy seeds. It also features a rich portion of crumble topping.|