The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Greetings with Serbian traditional beads and pastries-picture heavy

bemonkey's picture

Greetings with Serbian traditional beads and pastries-picture heavy


I just want to share with all of you some of my breads and pastries:

Organic Whole Wheat Bread with susam and rosemary:

No-kneed bread:

Rye Flax Seed Sourdough Bread

Norwich Sordough bread by Susan (Wild Yeast):

Love her work and recipes. Used them many times. Thanks Susan

This is a celebration bread that I make once a year. I came from former Yugoslavia and as a Christian Orthodox we celebrate "Slava". Every family has the saint day that they celebrate as their family guardian. Mine is Saint Micheal. So, we make the bread that represents a body of Christ.

The decoration parts:

Decorated bread ready for baking:

Baked "Slavski hljeb" (Celebration Bread):

Where I am from, we love our "pita" which is a phyllo dough (handmade) filled with different fillings. My favorite is with cheese, but others are equally famous. "Pita" with ground meat, cubed potato, squash, zucchini, sour cherry, apple, prunes, etc...

I love making this for my family and we all love eating it:

"Pita" with cheese:


This is called "Buhtle", another bread from former Yugoslavia. This is challah like dough filled with "pekmez". Now, "Pekmez" is something that a lot of people make. It is traditional italian prun preserve that is heavenly. And this bread is the best filled with "Pekmez", IMO.


I will post more next time.

Thanks for watching and I hope you will enjoy them.


clazar123's picture

Your breads and pastries are absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

Are the decorations on the bread made from non-yeasted dough or old (dead) dough?

I had a Serbian friend in high school who's mother made "pita"with cheese and spinach filling. It was delicious!  I have never seen it since and when you ask for "pita" here in midwestern USA, you are given flatbread/pocketbread/greek pitabread. Not even close in deliciousness! The closest I have ever seen around here is the Greek Spanakopita. Any recipe you can share for your pita?

The Buhtle looks very appealing this morning,as does the sirnica-either would go great with my coffe! When I google pekmez, I get a lot of references to a fruit syrup  of Turkish origin. It sounds like your pekmez is more of a jam or preserve with spreading consistency. Can any jam or marmalade be used?


bemonkey's picture

I should have said that I have some non traditional Serbian bread as well here on this post. :)

Is that name Lazar in your nick name? I am glad you like my breads and pastries.

I do have a recipe for making dough for phyllo dough, but making it paper tick or even thinner really requires some practicing times (read a lot). When I roll it out it is transparent that how thin it is.  However, you can go to some Euro markets and look for this type of dough in Serbian/Bosnian section. I do not have recipes for my filling for "Pita" for I do them by intuition. Oh, I forgot to mention spinach as filling in "Pita". Thanks.

In essence, you make mixture of cheese ( I use ricotta and feta combined), eggs, and sour cream (optional), salt as needed. When you use spinach, cut the spinach into short strips and add to cheese/egg mixture. Than you fill phyllo dough with this mixture. Look at my collage for "Sirnica", and roll out. You might be able to find a video on youtube for the process of making pita. What some professional bakers do in Serbia and Bosnia with rolling out phyllo dough is stunning. It is art. Italians rolling out pizza dough in the air is nothing compering to this art. IMHO, of course.

This is one video of such a skillful baker.  He makes Burek (which is Pita filled with ground meat).

And another one:

Pita bread and "Pita" (Serbian and Bosnian) are completely different.

As for "Buhtle", yes you can fill it with pretty much anything, like croissant. Nutella is a great choice, other fruit preserves, cheese, any "Pita's" filling would work good here, too.

"Pekmez" in my mom's kitchen is very tick prune preserve that is made with Italian prunes, sugar and cinnamon. No preservatives, only sterilization. And mostly everywhere in Serbia and Bosnia is like that. If you love prunes, you simply can not help but love "Pekmez".

As for the phyllo dough recipe, I can post it if you want to adventure into that field. :))

All the best.



clazar123's picture

I don't know if my friend's mother used to make her own phyllo or buy it and I was totally disinterested (at the time) as to how it was made. Ah, foolish youth! She could have taught me a lot-she was a good cook.I believe I can buy a premade phyllo dough here-probably frozen. I have seen phyllo dough being made and it is quite a production. It is in my future,I know!

The pita filling sounds the same as I remember. I remember a little sharpness to it that I had never tasted-prob the feta cheese.I never heard of feta til I was an adult,even though I grew up with many Greek classmates. Back then(60's), no one flaunted their ethnicity-they all wanted to be "American" and be the same as everyone else. Unless you went into their home and interacted with the parents,you didn't experience any of their culture. Sad. Plus, I was not interested in cooking or ingredients at that time-only eating and hanging out. An interest in cooking didn't come til a few years later.

Is the pita filling layered in different layers? So it would be phyllo dough in a pan (several layers of dough with a little oil between),spoonfuls of filling,more layers of phylo dough and oil, filling,etc and ending up with a last few layers of dough? When it was done baking, the pita would be cut into squares and served.My recollection is layered rather than a pocket of dough around a center of filling. Is that right?

The pekmez sounds very good. I have some ripe,purple gooseberries now. I bet they would make a lovely pekmez-like jam.

bemonkey's picture


I love being American but I also love being a Serbian. I can only hope that my children will fill the same and will nourish the best of both sides.

There are two main ways of filling the phyllo layers with filling. One is as you described and another one is like I do,  a pocket of dough around a center of filling.

Oh, once you start making your phyllo layers you will never buy premade stuff. :)) I wish I can show you how to do it, much easier than describing it.

Phyllo dough recipe:

500 g all purpose flour

300 ml water (room temperature)

10 g fine table salt

Mix all the ingredients and start kneading for at least 20 minutes. I sometimes do 30 min. The dough is ready when is stiff but elastic, and you see small air pockets on it. Divide into 100 g portions and form balls that you flatten into disks ~3-4", place in well oiled container (50-100 g oil). Make sure all sides are well coated in oil. Cover the container with lid or plastic bag for the dough will form dry skin otherwise. Let sit at least an hour. Than take big clean table clothe and place on a table. Take the disk, and gently start spreading from the outside. Work all sides equally into rectangular shape or oval. The layer should be transparent. First once can be ticker. :) The thinner the tastier final product. Place the filling  along the two opposite sides. Using pizza cutter cut the layer into half. Drizzle with oil. Now use your tablecloth to roll the dough with filling. You will have long string like dough. Gently form the oval shape as seen on my collage for "Sirnica". I plan to put the video together but until than look for "Pita" or Burek" making on youtube for videos, so my description awake into the pictures.

To answer the question on "Slavski Hljeb" (Celebration bread): the dough for decoration is flour and water were stiff kneaded.

Yes, gooseberry jam can work too in "Buhtle".

I hope I was clear in explanation. :)


bemonkey's picture

My daughter's favorite stuffed toy is a frog so I made this for her and the turtle is for my son.

This is organic whole wheat bread topped with oats, flax seeds, and sesame. Lately I have been using organic coconut oil a lot and this bread was made with it. There was a beautiful undertone of coconut oil in every bit. The bread is baked on lover temperature than most of my breads.

 Crackers with herbs (rosemary, basil, Cuban oregano), rye flour, Parmesan cheese, garlic , lemon zest, olive oil... They were great. It was combination of all the ingredients that I love a lot.



bemonkey's picture

I love the look of these breads. I used cocoa for brown shells, dried sage for greenish, and organic yellow color isolated from vegetables. Thanks Susan for introducing them to me.

bemonkey's picture

The croissants with Nutella.

Sourdough bread with five grains. I forgot which five grains I had in this bread, though. :)

Sourdough bread with spelt flour


bemonkey's picture

So I want to share few more pictures of my passion; bread and pastry. I thought that would be the best way to introduce myself to all of you. Numerous times I was wowed with pictures of your work and thank you for that. I hope that you will like mine, too. :)

Multigrain bread.

This was a breakfast on Easter for my children. They were so eager to  bit in to it and I was so happy to see their smiles. I cherish the moment in my head and share it with you now. :)

Another Serbian bread that is mostly served for breakfast.

These rolls are perfect for lunch sandwich. They are made with all purpose flour and oats. I make them often in summer when we have fresh vegetable. I pan fry some zucchinis or eggplant in olive oil, make my ranch dressing to spread on rolls, slice fresh cucumber or tomato on side as salad, and voila. You get yourself great lunch.

Sourdough bagels. I made this following the recipe that Bwraith left on his post here.

Thanks so much for great recipe. I love my bagels for breakfast occasionally.

Another bread that I made for my children. Sourdough rye, whole wheat, oat and wheat bran bread. They loved the clown on the bread.

This is the cake I made for my daughter's birthday. It was labor of love. She is my princess and I wanted her to feel that day like one.

And this cake I made for my son's birthday that simply loves cars.

Thank you for looking at my pictures.



bemonkey's picture

This is Five-Grain Bread with Pate Fermentee by Hamelman. Talking about burst of flavors and mouth-feel. Wow.