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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rožky (Slovak Bread Rolls) {European Culinary ABC's}

These Slovak Bread Rolls mark the second stop on our European Culinary journey, the Slovak Republic (Slovakia for short).  Slovakia is yet another country that I know absolutely nothing about.  Sadly, I will be saying that a lot over the next year and a half (and 26 European communities).  I love learning about other cultures.  Now.  Back in the day when my brain would have soaked up that information like a sponge, I was less interested.  Sigh.  Why is youth wasted on the young? {wink}

What I do know about Slovakia?  They were once the other half of Czechoslovakia before their peaceful dissolution in 1992.  They kept the "slovakia" half... and the Czech Republic kept the "czech" half.  Brains.  I got 'em.

Their cuisine is comparable to (perhaps obviously) that of the Czech Republic, but also that of Austria, Hungary, the Ukraine, and Poland.  Pork, poultry, potatoes, flour, cabbage, and milk are all staples.  Also, thanks to the popularity of hunting and vast forestation, game is also fairly popular.  Traditionally, white, sweeter wines were the most popular, as well as Pilsner beers, but tastes have evolved to include reds, dry wines, and dark lagers today.
Of all of those traditional influences, I went with perhaps the most basic - flour.  I am not 100% sure if this is true, but I read that Rožky is the most popular form of bread in Slovakia.  The dough is cut into triangles and rolled into a tubular form and curved slightly.  My curves sort of righted themselves in the oven, so you have to look closely.  My shaping can use a bit of work, but these are very simple rolls to make.

And you know we love our bread in this house.  I love how every country has the same basic bread recipe with the variations coming in size or shape, or perhaps fillings or toppings.  But good bread warms the soul worldwide.

Rožky (Slovak Bread Rolls)

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: ~3 hours (mostly unattended)
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Keywords: bake bread Slovak

Ingredients (16 rolls)
  • ~3½ - 4 c. bread flour
  • 1½ c. milk, lukewarm
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
  • water/cream/egg wash
  • seeds (cumin, poppy, sesame)
  • chopped herbs
Dissolve yeast in milk until frothy. Add to bowl with remaining ingredients (starting with the lesser amount of flour) and stir until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and pliable. Set in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, ~60 minutes.

Line one or two baking trays with parchment paper or a silpat (or grease it).

Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Keep remaining dough under towel or plastic while working with one piece.
Roll each portion into a circle ⅛-¼" thick. Cut circle into quarters.

Grab the points of the long end of each quarter and fold/tuck in. Starting at that long end, roll tightly, securing as you go. Once dough is in a cylinder shape, pinch seams together and curve ever-so-slightly. Set on prepared baking tray(s), seam side down.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, ~45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375° F during last 15 minutes of rise time. If you like, brush top with a bit of water, cream, or egg wash and sprinkle with seeds or herbs.
Slide into preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

adapted from slovak cooking
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For more information on Slovakia, check out this website - especially the photos, they're gorgeous!

ABC_CEOur second stop on this European Community Culinary ABC's journey is Slovakia.  Hosting this month is Terry at Crumpets & co. with B is for Bryndzové halušky.  If you'd like to join us on this journey, we'll be in Slovakia until February 17!

I am also sharing this post with:
Bake Your Own Bread