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Karaway - New Russian/Lithuanian Bread shop in London

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lumos's picture
lumos

Karaway - New Russian/Lithuanian Bread shop in London

Not sure how many of you are near enough to go and buy their bread, but there's a tiny shop in the newly opened Westfield Stratford City that sells good selection of Russian/Lithuanian breads and other baked goodies.

Karaway

They have Lithuanian style scalded rye, pumpernickel, Borodinsky and several other interesting bread, and they are not mass-produced.  I only nibble small pieces of those bread they have for tasting (too much breads at home for consumption...), but they all taste really good.  Thoroughly recommend it.

lumos

bshuval's picture
bshuval

It looks amazing!

I wish this bakery was here... What an array of products! Do you know who the bakers are? 

lumos's picture
lumos

It was a really happy surprise for me when I found them in the new shopping centre (shopping mall for you in US ;) ) right next to London 2012 Olympic Park.  There're lots of French style artisan bakeries in London these days, but not so many of other European style bakeries.   But it's not really too surprising they opened up a Russian bakery like this, given there has been a huge influx of people from Eastern Europe and Russia to UK in recent years.  It's 'bout time, I would say. ;)

Unfortunately, the only thing I know about them is what's written in "About Us" on their website. It says ....

Karaway is a bakery unlike any other. Founded in London by a family with roots in Russia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, between us we have over 120 years of baking experience. For us bread is more than just food, it's part of a tradition that's been handed down through countless generations. It's a welcome to greet a friend or guest, a rite of passage, a vital part of life. At Karaway we are proud of our heritage. Everything we bake, we bake with love.

I've been to the shopping centre three times and everytime the shop is manned by the staff all with distinctive Eastern European/Russian accent.  A few times there're a couple of ladies behind the counter who look more  like housewives/mums rather than a part-timer working for a shop.  Everytime a customer approaches to the counter or the display table with breads, they are very welcoming and look very keen to introduce their products to a new potential customer, explaining about them enthusiastically and answering any question very patiently. (You may think that's a natural thing to do for any shop keeper, but not necessarily in UK, I can tell you....)   So I've been wondering they're actually the members of the family behind this bakery.  Lovely feeling I get from the bakery. 

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

Um. I'd certainly love to try some of their goodies! I see they've tweaked their piroshki to suit English tastes, there are some non-traditional (but lovely!) fillings like salmon and cream cheese, and they shaped some of them open, presumably so that the customer can see the filling? Piroshki are usually closed which keeps the filling moist, the open ones are usually called rasstegai (literally: undone (like a fastening)) or shangi and the filling in this type of piroshki tends to be drier because it's exposed to the hot air in the oven.

BTW the name of the bakery comes from the word karavai - a heavily decorated, sweet ritual bread but it sounds like they also played on the meaning of words "way" and "caraway".

Shame I live so far from them I wouldn't mind volunteering! Would be interesting to learn how they make their bread, particularly rye breads. Lithuanian ones can be very nice but I haven't tried making any of them yet

lumos's picture
lumos

So do they look authentic enough for you?

Forgot what you told me about real piroshki while ago.  Did you say it's never fried?  Their piroshki looked baked, not fried. In Japan, piroshki are usually deep fried and typical ones look like this  mostly with minced meat+chopped onion + chopped boiled egg filling.

Didn't know they have a different name for opened ones.  But they thought introducing yet another new name would be too confusing, considering many people in UK haven't even heard of piroshki. :p

 I tasted Borodinsky, pumpernickel and light rye, and they all tasted good. I really have to buy some of them next time I go there. Not just nibbling the freebees. :p

If you can get to either Cenral Line of Jubilee line, the shopping centre is right on the doorstep from Stratford station. ;)

 

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

yeah they look good. Most home bakers wouldn't bother decorating them so neatly but of course when you're trying to sell something you have to present it well.

They can be either baked or fried. In my family, piroshki are always fried but pirogi (a bigger version, similar to a pie or a closed pizza) are always baked due to size. Obviouslymost  commercial bakers bake piroshki because it's much quicker than frying, and also cheaper because you're not using any excess oil. It's only small fast-food kiosks that sometimes deep-fry them, but that's considered very unhealthy and is essentially a Russian equivalent of a burger.

As for home bakers, on average I'd say more people probably bake than fry them, for the same reason as above - less hassle. Fried ones taste nicer though (IMO, anyway) which is why my family fry them. BUT I never deep-fry them, just use enough oil to coat the pan, for two reasons - deep fried dough comes out very very fatty (and piroshki are already quite substancial) and is heavy on your liver. The other reason is that most oils accumulate carcinogens when heated for a long time (olive oil is said to resist that, but olive oil is way too expensive in Russia and besides wouldn't be the 1st choice for piroshki as you need a neutral tasting oil) and the more oil the bigger the damage. Russians are very health conscious, not that this leads to a particularly healthy lifestyle generally, but people talk a lot about what's healthy, what's not, and food choices (so far) are often based on those considerations. Therefore, as said above, anything deep-fried is generally regarded as low quality fast food :-)

It seems Karaway only do savoury piroshki but there are lots of sweet versions too, filled with fruit, berries or jam. There's also a sweet cottage cheese goody called "vatrushka" (plural vatrushki), this one always has an open top. There's lots of names for different types of piroshki, but you're right when it comes to conquering a new market it's best to keep things simple.

Then there's kulebyaka (cool-a-BYA-ka) which is a multi-tier closed pie with several layers of filling separated by thin pancakes. Typically there'd be 2-4 different fillings, but there is mention in literature of a ginormous 12-tier kulebyaka which was served in a Moscow restaurant at the turn of the 20th century. I have personally never made or eaten a kulebyaka, that's a rare art these days. Even an ordinary pirog can take a whole day to make (well these days with the luxury of a fridge one could spread it over several days) I'm afraid to even think how long a kulebyaka would take.

how's their Borodinsky? If made well that can be a real treat of a bread. I still can't get consistent results with mine but I'm getting there :-)

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist
ehanner's picture
ehanner

FoodFascist, that's looking pretty good from here. Would you consider doing a post showing how to make these along with some sweet and savory fillings? I bet there are lots of TFLers who would love to learn, I sure would.

Eric

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

Thanks Eric, I'm blushing up to my ears :-)

yeah I've long been thinking of writing a little blog on piroshki, and also some sweet stuff like Napoleon cake and other desserts. Just never get round to it. I actually took that photo with that idea in mind. Hopefully I'll make some time one of these days.

Before then, you could have a look at the comment I posted a few days ago, here

You can use pretty much any basic dough for piroshki, pizza dough for example will do the job nicely, just make it a tiny bit stiffer than you'd do for pizza. The recipe my family use is a yeasted milk dough with egg, butter or oil and a little sugar (it should be just faintly sweet). This dough is used for both sweet and savoury piroshki. If you're only planning on making sweet ones, you could make the dough that bit sweeter but not as sweet as croissant dough. It can be a little on the dense side as it'll need to hold the filling well.

Hope this helps

EvaB's picture
EvaB

we can buy what are called pirogy, in bags from the freezer the directions on them, state to place in boiling water, and when the float remove and drain, then stir in a pan with oil or butter. These have fillings of cottage cheese, potato, the potato fillings can be mixed with cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, onion or bacon or combinations of all.

My daughter did a section on our Ukranian Canadians, and they did a dinner with each mother prepareing a type of food, mine was pirogy, filled with fruit. The dough was wonderful (much nicer than the frozen ones) and I made the filling from wild blueberries (actually bill berries mostly or huckleberries as they are called) and I boiled them as the recipe stated, and warmed them in the butter, and when I got them to the school, the mother of one of the other girls said they always deep fried the fruit filled ones. But I suspect that the boiling and reheating technique came first. The deep frying is a later thing. All I can say was they were delicious no matter how they were done.

The regular ones with the cheese or potato fillings are served with Ukranian sausage (a ham sausage) cut in chunks and either boiled or fried, the pirogy and lots of sour cream. Not a meal that is good for one, but sooooo delicious.

lumos's picture
lumos

Pirogy is dumpling, while piroshki is filled bread.

I love pirogy, too, though.  Polish has very similar dish, too, some with sweet filling, others with savory.  ;)

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

There's a big confusion over what pirogi is, depending on the language/culture they come from. In Russia/Ukraine/Belarus, a pirog (plural piroGI) is a large pie typically made of yeast dough, filled with a savoury of sweet filling and BAKED. Pirog is actually a very general term and will also cover puff pastry pies, shortcrust pies and other types of pie.

Russian pirogi

In Polish (and perhaps some other Eastern European languages?) the word pierogi (pronounced, I believe, piROgi) stands for filled pasta shapes. In Russian, these are called vareniki (va-RE-niki), or pelmeni (pelMEni) is filled with meat. Russian ones are usually boiled but can also be fried, or boiled until almost cooked and then lightly fried, or boiled in bulk, stored in fridgee and reheated by frying. I personally haven't come across fried sweet vareniki, in my experience it's pelmeni or savoury vareniki that tend to be fried. Russian vareniki are usually served with sour cream or melted butter, whereas pelmeni can also be served with vinegar. I have little info on how the Polish cook their pierogi, but I'm assuming they mostly boil them, too.

Polish pierogi

Eva, do you know where the person who said she always fries them comes from? Would be interesting to know whether fried sweet pierogi/vareniki is a tradition of her country, or just her family.

The filled pasta is a really ubiquitous dish, Italian raviolli springs to mind, but there's also hinkali - large meat-filled dumplings of the Caucasus, notably Georgia; manty/manti - from Central Asia and Turkey, mandu - Korea, buuz- Mongolia, baozi - China... I'm sure there's many more names and varieties.

The Russian word "pirozhok" is the affectionate way to say "small pirog", sort of like one may call a very small pie, a "pieling".

EvaB's picture
EvaB

the lady who said they fried the fruit filled pirogy, (local spelling in Canada) was of Ukranian decent, her grandparents or great grandparents would have been in the wave of immigration that came to Canada in the early 1900's or slightly before, not the wave just before the second world war, and after that time. So she might have had Polish ancestry in the Ukraine or she might have had almost any of that area's mix of ethnicity. I do know that as a child she was in Ukranian dance groups etc. So her main background would have been that ethnicity. I am fairly sure she was born in Saskachewan, where a lot of the settlers lived (large farming area) or close to the Alberta Saskachewan border, there is a large Ukranian presence in Vegraville Alberta, and Ukranian Dance groups are very prevalent in Alberta.

Fried fruit pies are also common in the US at one time, they would be fried when one didn't have an oven or way of baking a pie. They were quite common on the wagon trains as a desert that would have been celebratory of a milestone reached on the trip. So the pie whether in short crust pastry, or dumpling casing, or bread casing is quite common all over the world as well as the way of cooking.

I have a Ukranian friend whose family was from Winnipeg Manitoba, and she said her mother made the boiled pirogy in huge quantities for her family, she would make and boil them for harvest time, and then heat them up in the skillet with butter to serve, with sausage and whatever else would be served. This would have been in the early 1950's on a farm where harvest was still done by large groups of men going from farm to farm in the area doing each family's fields.

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

i wonder why they advertise their sourdough loaves as "yeast free" though? If someone's allergic to commercial strands of yeast, wouldn't they also be allergic to the wild yeasts in sourdough?

Also they don't seem to do many wheat breads... they might get more customers in if they also had a couple of basics on offer, like a sandwich loaf and a bloomer. There's a few very nice and simple Russian wheat breads that would be similar enough to what the English palate is used to. Just a thought :-)

lumos's picture
lumos

Their shop is right in front of a large Waitrose and the shopping centre has M & S at the other end of the mall with a big food department, so maybe they thought the competition is too fierce on wheat based breads.  Especially with Waitrose, they do have quite a good ranges of 'artisan'-ish breads, you know.   While rye breads like those are still rare commodities in UK, so they do draw attention much better.  

They really have a wide ranges of stuff. I remember some of 'piroshki' like ones did have sweet filling (maybe apple or some other fruits, I think.....), too.  Also they have other breads than what they have on their website, too, including another wheat based bread. It had a tint of creamy yellow and slightly sweet, so I think it was enriched dough. 

Don't ask me how Brodinsky tasted. It tasted really good, but I'd never had real authentic one before!  I really think you should go there someday to try it yourself. Nobody else knows how the real stuff should taste like as much as you do on this forum!

Your strawberry piroshki looks really yummy!

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

Well if I make it to the upcoming Do I'm planning to bring along a loaf of Borodinsky. Thats IF if comes out right.

i'm getting a bit tired of it now as I've been baking it roughly once every ten days for the past 2-3 months trying to master the recipe. It really is a tricky bread. Or should I say I'm just really inexperienced with rye :)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I looked at the link and I think I can give it a try based on your directions. I'm just to sure about the sealing them up part. I've made pot stickers and dumplings and ravioli a few times.  So I'll use some combination of those I guess. Thanks for this.

Eric

 

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

no prob Eric,

I'm not sure how you make pot stickers, but if you seal them up like you would ravioli and then roll them in your hands to flatten the seam that's fine. You can either leave the ends sticking out to achieve this sort of shape, or flatten the ends as well to get a rounded shape like this. If you're making sweet ones, particularly if using fruit/berries rather than jam, I really recomment you fry them. Sweet pirozhki are much nicer fried, IMO. One or two will inevitably leak syrup and you'll get a lovely caramel coating on them! Although if that happens early on during frying, do scrape the syrup out of the pan before it turns black because you don't want burnt caramel on your next batch.

If you're baking them, you could shape the seam into all sorts of decorations (that also helps to make sure it doesn't split) - here's one example and here's another. 

Shaping is really up to the cook, because dough takes such a long time to make people often make a large batch, make lots of piroshki with different fillings and shape them differently for every type of filling to know which one's which. Here are even some triangular ones.

 

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

All this piroshki talk made me crave them, so I've just started a batch of dough.

Below is my family recipe. Sorry I haven't got precise amounts because my mum just throws it together, and has taught me to do the same. It makes sense actually, since flours differ, and how much fluid flour will absorb depends on humidity, temperature and other factors. However, I'll measure how much of what I'll use in this batch and post later on.

per 500 milk (I used a pint):

Sponge

  • all milk
  • tablespoon sugar
  • teaspoon active yeast (or equivalent amount of live yeast) - I'm doing sourdough this time, by way of experiment
  • enough flour to reach a consistency of pancake batter (so far I've used approx 350 g flour)

leave to ferment for roughly 1-3 hours, or until risen and bubbly

Dough

  • 1 egg
  • some neutral tasting oil or melted butter - I really don't know how much, say 2-4 tablespoons?
  • more sugar - about 2-3 tablespoons? The dough should just have a hint of sweetness
  • teaspoon salt
  • more flour - add as you knead until dough no longer sticks to your hands. It should be pliable but tough enough to hold the filling.

i think 500 ml milk absorbs close to a kilo flour.

Knead vigorously, return to bowl and leave until doubled. I often put mine in the fridge overnight, and in that time it more than doubles. Punch down. Allow to double again and it's ready to go.

If baking, set the oven to 180-200 C (you don't want it as hot as for bread because the filling's often moist, and you want to make sure the dough cooks through). If frying, do it over a medium-high heat (you'll soon work out how hot it should be). Try one out of the first batch to check that you're leaving it in the pan long enough and there's no uncooked dough anywhere. You can fry 2 sides or four sides whichever you prefer.

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

on line looking for various recipes, and boy some of them are really different, some are sweet dough, some are sort of like pasta dough, some are in between both!

The fillings are the same, the same meat and cabbage filling is made differently by each family, some has more pork, some have more cabbage, some use sauerkraut, and its all most delicious.
The one thing I did find was that most are boiled, although the sweet yeast doughs are made into small or large pies, buns or whatever and baked. All good!
So now I shall have to find the recipe the school sent home, I definitely still have it, just finding it might be a bit of a problem, and try to compare it to some of the other recipes and find which one I like the best!
I also found a number of recipes that use puff pastry dough to make baked dumplings or little pies, of course they all say, start with a box of frozen patty shapes and roll out thinner and fill, but its interesting to see that type of pastry being used.
There are also two recipes for these with an Asian base, so these are truly a world wide type of eats. One of these used a frozen patty shell base, and the other has a real dough recipe, so will try that one first!

carthurjohn's picture
carthurjohn

Interesting to see this old thread following last night's Paul Hollywood programme 'Bread' on BBC 2, where he visited this bakery. Amongst the delightful breads that he looked at, he watched them make Lithuanian scalded rye which looks delicious.

Unfortunately he didn't give the recipe and the bakery don't have it on their fairly basic website. I have emailed them to ask if they publish a book of their recipes or if they would consider posting it on their website, but guess this is far too valuable to them commercially to want to give it away.

Does anyone know of a recipe for this bread?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I found this collection of recipes

http://ausis.gf.vu.lt/eka/food/bread.html

I tried the scalded rye recipe and -although it's very tasty- it doesn't rise a lot. Notice that in this recipe the fermentation lasts 24 hours, while the Karaway site mentions a fermentation of several days.

carthurjohn's picture
carthurjohn

Thanks for this, one link.  I've contacted Karaway and they are currently considering publishing some of their recipes, so would be worth keeping an eye on their website.