Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Poland, There Was a Type of Bagel. . .

The one I ate in Krakow.
In the city of Krakow in southern Poland I bought one roll at this street stall. Just a bread roll. Like a bagel but different: twisted, & crisp outside but French-bread-like inside, and sprinkled with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cheeses -- your choice. Price 1.5 zlotys, or 45 cents.

I bought one and sat down to lunch on it. Oh my. Before eating it all, I took its photo. And returned to the U.S. and within 6 weeks, homesick for Poland, I had to have these rolls again. Searched international bakeries around town. I didn't know what they were called. Googling "Krakow bagels" I found two recipes in English: One to serve 100 people, and one for 1 dozen. (Here's the link. Scroll down for the 1-dozen recipe.) Two recipes on the whole Internet and only one I could use. They are called, get this, "Krakowskie Obwarzanki," and made only in Krakow.

It's baking season, so I set to work after buying "diastatic malt powder," an essential ingredient. The recipe said to knead until the dough was "silky and stretchy." I kneaded the dough, determinedly, for 30 minutes by hand, y'all. If I will do that, you KNOW how much I wanted them! And let the dough rise. And cut and rolled it in ropes. And twisted the ropes to make open circles. And chilled them overnight and boiled them for one minute and then dipped 'em in black and white sesame seeds and baked 'em.

Oh my! Krakowskie Obwarzanki!

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