Hungarian white bread

by | Aug 19, 2015 | Breads, buns & biscuits

20th August is St. Stephen’s Day in Hungary, our greatest national holiday, celebrated with day-long festivities followed by spectacular fireworks throughout the country. We commemorate the foundation of the Hungarian state, and remember Stephen I, the first king of Hungary and founder of the Kingdom of Hungary, who was canonized on August 20th, 1083 by Pope Gregory VII. We also celebrate the first bread from the new harvest that is baked traditionally on this day. On this occasion I’d like to show you how I bake Hungarian white bread.

A little late, but last year bread baking fever reached me, too. I thought eating my own bread would be a thousand times better than store-bought, bread-like products full of additives. I set to work and took the first step: googled bread recipes – but I shouldn’t have. I lost the thread in couple of minutes, the more recipes I read, the more doubts I had because I couldn’t believe that bread baking could be so complicated. It seemed that making bread required an MBA in nuclear physics, or at least extraordinary skills in baking. I was totally despirited when I turned off the PC.

But the thought kept running through my head, and after the first shock I decided to look for a simpler way and asked two old ladies who have experiences in making bread at home. They and their mothers baked amazing breads in rick-shaped ovens for decades, so they could easily recall the working phases and the ingredients they used. They just laughed when I told them my tribulations on the internet, and they reassured me: everyone can bake bread – without making a fuss about it. Following their advices I developed my own bread recipe, which is probably not so professional, but authentic and, what is more important, it’s mine.

Hungarian white bread
Hungarian white bread – photo:
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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