Written by Katka Melicharova
This recipe is from the Vysocina Region, also known as the Czech Highlands. The Vysocina Region straddles Bohemia and Moravia in the very center of the Czech Republic along the ridges of the Bohemian-Moravian mountain ranges. Pecivalky have been a beloved pastry in the Czech Lands since the late 1700s, and are still a favorite today, although family recipes are hard to come by. The name pecivalky comes from the word pecival, meaning slug, because the dumplings rest lazily in the oven. The pastry has all the hallmarks of a classic Czech pastry – sweet bread dough, sticky fruit filling, and, of course, poppy seeds – but the unique method of pouring boiling water over the baked dumplings gives them a soft, fluffy texture and makes them stand out in a crowd. The recipe below is great for an after-hike treat, but it is just as enjoyable on lazier days, too.
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
4 tsp active dry yeast
2 cooked potatoes
milled poppy seed with sugar (to grind the poppy seed you can use an electric coffee grinder)
Crumble the yeast into warm milk, add a bit of sugar, and let it rise. Make an impression into the flour, then grate into it the potatoes and pour into it the leaven. Salt the potato – and leaven-filled flour and then make it into a pastry dough. Let the dough rise. Then roll the dough on a thicker plate – about 3/4 inch thick – and cut out wheels.
Preheat oven to 320F bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Put finished pecivalky into a pot and blanch with boiling water. Quickly remove the pecivalky from the water.
Grease the pecivalky, and then cover them with plum jam and a dusting of milled poppy seed mixed with powdered sugar.