CZECH BREAD

Czech name: Český chléb

Written by Marie Cechova

In many Czech families, a must-have food in the kitchen is bread. Czechs eat bread with almost everything from butter or jam to lard with salt. They are many different ways to eat it. If there is leftover bread, they fry it in oil and grease it with garlic, and that is called topinky. Or dip the bread in eggs and fry it; that is called vajecnice. Bread was discovered about 10,000 years BC, and yeast was added long after. There are many types of bread: Czech bread, Indian naan, or Arabian pitta and many more. Czechs made bread in the past because it was inexpensive and quite easy. It was mostly widespread among farmers. Every good Czech should know how to make a bread, and if you want to make one too, follow this recipe.

Ingredients

3 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rye flour
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp Vinegar

Instructions

If you want the bread darker and healthier, use more rye flour than all-purpose. But be aware that you may have to adjust the amount of water.

First, mix all ingredients (except vinegar) in a bowl until it looks like a dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 8 to 10 hours in a warm spot. After the dough is well-rested, wet your hands with cold water so the dough does not stick to your hands, and put it on a pastry board sprinkled with flour. Fold the dough a few times and form it into a round shape. Brush the bread with vinegar mixed with water and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Let the dough sit for a couple more minutes. Put the bread on a baking sheet sprinkled with flour. Preheat the oven to 500F. When the oven is preheated, put the bread dough on the sheet into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. When the bread is done, make sure you let it cool down at room temperature for at least an hour as this will prevent crumbling.

Bread is a necessary food for Czech households. Many tourists can be surprised with what Czechs eat. In restaurants, you can find bread on a side dish menu. Czechs like to make fun of themselves because whenever a Czech family is on a trip, they want to save money, so they bring their own food, usually bread with ham and cheese.