The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recipe needed for a Polish bread

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Recipe needed for a Polish bread

My paternal grandmother grew up in what is now southern Poland and at the time, governed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On Saturdays, our large family would gather at her house where we would devour loaves of her raisin bread. The loaves were large, at least 2 lbs or more, with a thick, dark caramelized crust and a golden yellow crumb with raisins. This was a substantial bread and she often served it with home made butter.

As far as I know, no one in the family is making this bread or at least talking about making it so the availability of recipe is questionable. I don't have the Polish name for the bread yet. However, I'll be retiring in a couple of weeks so I'll have the time to take a shot at baking it soon. Perhaps someone in the Chicago, IL or Springfield, MA area has an idea of what I'm looking for.

hansjoakim's picture

Do you think it's similar to the German Rosinenstuten? You can find a recipe and a photo here. Let me know if you need a translation :)

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

As fine as that loaf looks, it's not the same. As I recall, the crust was really dark brown, I think sable brown would be the color and the crust was thick. The crumb was really yellow, much the color of butter. I haven't seen anything like it in any of the artisanal bakeries in the KC, MO area yet. The last time I was in Wheatfields in Lawrence, KS, the best bakery in this area that I know of, they didn't have a similar bread either.

I've put my father on the job and he may be able to get a name or recipe through emails to family in Poland.

The Rosinenstuten recipe really taxes my recall of my high school German studies so I can't make too much out of that page. I would really appreciate a translation because that's the kind of bread my wife wants to see me make. It might even justify the purchase of some more gadgets and equioment. Thank you for your generous offer.


hansjoakim's picture

I haven't made that specific recipe myself either, but the recipe looks good, doesn't it? I'll gladly admit that my German is pretty rusty as well, but here goes:


4 kg bread flour/all-purpose flour

2.5 kg water

0.5 kg frest yeast

Mix: 4 min. on slow speed, 2 min. on higher speed. Desired dough temperature: 26 degrees Celsius. Proofing time: 20 - 30 mins.


Final dough:

7 kg sponge (all of the above)

6 kg bread flour/all-purpose flour

2 kg butter

1 kg sugar

0.15 kg salt

2 kg quark cheese

2 kg whole eggs

0.3 kg milk powder

0.2 kg lemon zest

0.2 kg baking powder

3.5 kg raisins

Combine everything, except raising, and knead to a smooth dough. Add the raisins in the end, and knead until evenly distributed in the dough. Desired dough temperature: 25 - 26 degrees Celsius. Bulk fermentation: 20 mins. Divide the dough into 0.5 kg pieces, shape round, and place seam side down on parchment paper. Final proof: 15 - 20 mins. Give the shaped pieces an egg wash twice during the final proof. Make a cross on top of the dough balls just before loading into the oven. Bake: 30 - 35 mins. at approx. 200 degrees Celsius.

PS: I'm not really sure how to interpret the temperature for the final bake... It sounds to me that you should use a baking temperature that's 40 degrees Celsius lower than what you would use for "Brötchens" (i.e. small breads). I'm guessing that's due to the egg wash, and that you don't want the crust to get too dark during the bake.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

What kind of yield can be expected from this recipe? It might be because I'm a rookie but it looks like this could about 6-8 loaves. That's a lot of good eating.

I've never heard of quark cheese before. Is there a domestic cheese that's similar?

My father has a found a recipe that may be similar from one of my cousins. He's in the process of mailing it to me. My mother-in-law is looking for Polish bread recipes from her family out in Columbus, Nebraska so it looks like I'd better stock up on supplies, curiosity and patience. Oh well, I retire on 1 August so I should have some time for playing with the yeast real soon.

hansjoakim's picture

Postal Grunt,

The recipe has a total yield of 24.350 kg, which, for a regular household, is a bit much. In the original recipe, it's suggested to shape the loaves in pieces weighing approx. 0.5 kg, so the yield would be just under 50 loaves. Use that to scale the weights accordingly!

Quark cheese is a soft, white, unaged cheese. I'm Euro-based myself, so I'm not sure what line of products you have access to. I think a blend of ricotta cheese and sour cream is often used as a replacement for quark cheese. You might find more recommendations for substitutions via Google.

Good luck with the Stutens :)

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I got a copy of my Grandmother's (pronounced bup-chee) raisin bread in the mail from my father today. He found that one of my dozens of cousins had a typed out recipe that looks like it was taken from a brief hand written recipe that probably was passed along orally. It seems to presume some familiarity with family baking procedures in that there are gaps in the process. These gaps don't seem to be insurmountable as long as I remember that my Grandmother had 14 children, eleven survived childhood, kept cows into her late 50s, had some chickens, went barefoot from late April into October and cooked with a wood burning stove into her 60s. She was a Polish farm girl with a large brood and had to cook in bulk.

The recipe calls for 5# of flour, 8 eggs, lots of sugar, 1# of butter and 4 cubes of yeast among other things. I hope to get this recipe posted in a few days after I get it in a order that makes enough sense that I could bake a half batch. As soon as I post my planned recipe, which I'll attempt to bake next week, I hope that people will point out any possible missteps or suggestions.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Here's what I received for a recipe from my father. I'm at a point where I have to either dive in and just improvise on my own instincts or wait until I can reach out to people who are famililiar with this kind of bread and wait for suggestions.


3 tsp sugar

4 yeast cakes

3/4 glass warm water

Mix and let stand, rise


5# flour

1# butter

4 C. milk

1 1/2C. sugar

1 heaping T spoon salt

8 eggs

1# raisins

in a pan, put milk, sugar, salt and butter. Heat and cool. In bowl, put 2/3 of flour and make a      When milk has cooled off, add eggs and yeast mixture to the flour. Mix well and knead. Add raisins and knead. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, 45 minutes at 325 and test for doneness.

OK, I can understand the first step to proof the yeast cakes. I can guess that a smaller amount of instant yeast or some active dry yeast could be substituted. There's an actual text gap after the placement of 2/3 of the flour in a bowl. I guess that the flour is to be mounded into a pile or cone with an indent to pour in the milk-sugar-salt-butter combination liquid. The question I have and couldn't get an answer for so far is what is done with the other 1/3 bag or 1.7 lbs. of flour. I suspect that another question, probably the more important question, I have to ask is whether or not the amount of flour mentioned, 2/3s of a 5# bag, is correct for the liquid that's called for so far. Kneading the dough after mixing the ingredients and then proofing seems to be a given following the procedures in most recipes. Kneading in the raisins during the  second knead or fold also seems reasonable. The final steps would appear to be to shape and place into pans, a final proof and then to bake.

Any suggestions before I dive into the deep end of the pool?




Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

In a late night fit of frustration, I took a chance and sent an e-mail to the folks at KAF for some help. When I checked my inbox this afternoon, I had an e-mail from KAF that clears up some of my misconceptions and has encouraged me to get my supplies in place for a grand experiment in reviving a family recipe.

Frank at KAF said that the liquid to flour ratios were good and suggested that the missing 1/3 of the bag of flour, 1.7# or so, could be added after mixing in the eggs. I'm not a rocket scientist but I think this should work out and if it doesn't, well, the costs of the ingredients aren't that bad that I can't gain a lesson from it all.

Time to find the conversion tables for using active dry yeast instead of yeast cakes.


fortarcher's picture

Are you thinking of Placek?  POlish yeast coffee cake?