The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
User: Guest

Home / Food  % width posts: 72

What exactly is Polish Bread?

osiol 55 | 3,921
3 Sep 2007 #1
I've tried internet searches, but if I want a definitive answer, I trust PF better!

What is Polish bread?
I understand that it contains rye flour.
All rye or a mix of rye with wheat?

I occasionally make bread the longhand way, but usually I use a machine.
The machine has settings for various breads including French and Italian, but (suprise suprise) no Polish!
Can anyone provide a recipe?

Thanks! I knew you could!
Ranj 21 | 947
3 Sep 2007 #2
What is Polish bread?

The only thing I can tell you about Polish bread is I ate a lot of it whilst in Poland and as a result, packed on an extra five pounds.......Polish Bread is GOOOOOOD!!!!!! :)
Wroclaw 44 | 5,366
3 Sep 2007 #3
What is Polish bread?

No idea. There are many diffrent types in our store. Some are not even Polish !!!.
OP osiol 55 | 3,921
3 Sep 2007 #4
There are shops in the UK selling Polish bread, but all the Polish people I've met say it's not REAL Polish bread like the stuff back home!

I've got some kielbasa in the fridge, I need to make some more bread, so I thought it would be best to make something appropraite.

(I also have some Polish beer left).

There are many diffrent types

Okay, so if I said my perference is for brown bread,
can anyone provide a recipe (even just a trustworthy link to one on the web)?

With seeds or without?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,366
3 Sep 2007 #5
the Polish people I've met say it's not REAL Polish bread like the stuff

I think I should say that bread has changed since we joined the EU. The bread we had in the past was bloody awful in my opinion. But I was used to Mother's Pride or similar.

Old fashioned bread always had a strange [acid] taste. That was in a time before sliced bread and the EU.
No joke. We have only had sliced bread here for about 15 years.
OP osiol 55 | 3,921
3 Sep 2007 #6
The greatest thing since sliced bread?

Answer: bread you have to slice yourself.

I much prefer traditional or hand-made bread.
Most of the bread in the UK is made using the Chorleywood Method.
It is low in nutrition, cheap and tasteless.

Is real bread making a return in Poland?
When I visited this year, we didn't have sliced bread, and it was quite good but not the best bread ever -
a good, honest, every-day bread.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,366
3 Sep 2007 #7
we didn't have sliced bread,

Given a choice I wouldn't either.

Traditional people go for a traditional product. Also, a fresh baked large loaf is larger than a sliced loaf.

Bread from a small baker is usually uncut. It's supermarkets that sell the majority of sliced bread and therefore the modern loaf.
3 Sep 2007 #8
poppy seed bread - yum.

The uncut (off white) bread is good - not sure what makes it different. It could have a dill flavour or similar.
OP osiol 55 | 3,921
3 Sep 2007 #9
I'm firing up the old bread machine within the next hour.

poppy seed

I'll put some of these in.


Not so sure. I could try just a sprinkle.

off white

No rye flour here, so a blend of unbleached white and wholemeal.

Seriously though, folks, just one recipe would be nice!
Krzysztof 2 | 973
3 Sep 2007 #10
First of all Polish bread isn't any specific kind of bread, it rather refers to the quality, taste and methods of bread making in Poland (more traditional, of course, the bakeries they have been using machines for a long time, but it's all those chemical raising agents that make "western bread" so bad, it only looks nice)

And the most selled today is probably the standard white bread (wheat flour) on yeast, but if it's made in a natural way, it still tastes a lot better than wheat bread abroad. Other types are wheat-rye, pure rye isn't very popular.

But it's the best IMHO, integral rye bread without chemical additives, it's heavy and it has a little acid taste, indeed, because that's how you make it, you don't use yeast or anything similar, but "zakwas (zaczyn) chlebowy"

here's a Polish wiki site (very short) for zakwas:

Sourdough (leaven) - a small amount of dough rye, left from the previous baking or prepared sourdough from rye flour and containing propagated lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast used to make the dough.

With microelements (including iron, zinc, copper, cobalt, manganese), the phytic acid forms insoluble salts (phytates), thereby blocking their absorption.

and the English one, which mentions yeast, so it's not exactly how it's supposed to be, but I don't bake at home, I'm lucky to have a few good bakeries in my city

most online recipes are with yeast, but I found some that may be OK:,58941,3157626.html

and if you want some more traditional recipes, here's one: d=30

(it's from 1889 vademecum "Perfect housewife")
OP osiol 55 | 3,921
3 Sep 2007 #11
Thanks, Krzystof.

I think you have given me the answer I was looking for.

I realised there wouldn't only be one 'Polish Bread' but a variety.
Pure rye bread is really a different thing. I'll occasionally get a German Pumpernickel (Devil's Fart!).
But I am quite tempted with wheat-rye mix. I'll be trying it later in the week.
plk123 8 | 4,134
3 Sep 2007 #12
recipes 2 and 3 are some of the closest i have seen to describe the polish bread. i don't think you can make it in a bread machine though... partially because of the hot water and/or the egg white.. which is sometimes brushed on after the second water sprinkling.

from what i have also heard is that the oven needs to be of a certain type or construction.. what type i have no idea..

however, one of these days i am going to give it a go in my dutch oven. i'll let you know how it comes out, if it comes out. :D
astacy - | 2
4 Sep 2007 #13
I am researching polish "black bread" for a story I am writing. The origin of this bread comes from my "youth" (1950s to 1960s) when I visited my grandmother in Westfield, MA. There was a Polish bakery there where we would buy this wonderful black bread. Fantastic taste, a crust that was not crisp but had a great chew to it, sometimes with carraway, most often without. We would buy several whole loaves (they would slice it in a menacing machine if you wanted it) and take it home. Often a whole loaf would disappear before we got back to Lee. I have never tasted anything like this bread again, and I live in CA now where there are fantastic artesian breads of all types. My Father says the baker died in the 60s and took his recipe with him. (Thus the story line.) Anyone have any ideas about what would make such a special black bread? I assume there was a special "Mother". Probably used a combination of wheat and rye. Molasses? Chocolate? Coffee? It was literally a very dark brown/black color, fine grained, not whole grained. Anyone every had a bread like this? Any stories would be appreciated.
plk123 8 | 4,134
4 Sep 2007 #14
there are many "black" breads.. hard to tell what the one you tasted was like. and this being in Mass., that bread might have been a MA-PL bread anyway.
hello 22 | 890
4 Sep 2007 #15
black bread

Maybe you mean "chleb razowy" - sort of a black/brown bread popular in Poland. Looks like this:

Chleb razowy
plk123 8 | 4,134
4 Sep 2007 #16
is that fine grind? the russians make some kind of pumpernikel type bread that is way dark and soft/smooth meat and the skin is chewy but i have never had it straight from the oven either.
hello 22 | 890
4 Sep 2007 #17
is that fine grind?

I don't think so. The English translation of "chleb razowy" is "wholewheat bread."
astacy - | 2
5 Sep 2007 #18
It was much darker that the bread in that picture. Close to a pumpernickel type but, as my memory recalls, not like any pumpers I have tasted these days.
Roberta - | 17
9 Sep 2007 #19
Buttermilk Rye Bread Recipe.......excellent flavor and texture....for bread machine, or not.


1 cup water
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup instant mashed potatoes
3 cups bread flour
1-1/4 cup rye flour
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2-1/4 teaspoons yeast


Add all ingredients to bread machine (in this order). Bake on basic cycle.
Makes 2-pound loaf.

I did not make this recipe in a bread machine. Directions: Mix ingredients together and put into bowl and cover, let rest 15 minutes. Form into ball - let rise to double.

Form loaf (or loaves) and let rise. Slash top and egg wash. Bake at 350 degrees F., 40 to 45 minutes. 190 degrees inside temperature is just right.
OP osiol 55 | 3,921
9 Sep 2007 #20
1/2 cup instant mashed potatoes

I think I'd have to substitute that for real potato somehow.

If it comes in a packet, the chances of me eating it are very low.
HAL9009 2 | 323
19 Sep 2007 #21
We're getting lots of Polish Breads in the shops here in Ireland now, even in small towns. It's baked in the Polish bakery in Dublin. Really yummy.

My favourite (so far) is Żytni Okrągły Chleb z Ziarnami - Round Rye Bread with seeds. The (carroway) seeds are very subtle. It is grey brownish and reminds me of the bread in Romania, which was also very good. A lot of these breads include rye, which isn't really used in Ireland and the UK. Many Finnish breads are rye based also. So I think that maybe there isn't a "Polish" bread exactly, but a "Central-East European" bread which is firmly based on rye+yeast manufacture.

Many Irish breads are good also. They tend to be based on soda+buttermilk. Completely different from the Polish breads.
jek81162 - | 1
21 Sep 2007 #22
From what I've read, the seeds are called "charnushka," which is really nigella sativa, not caraway. The reason for the confusion (I think) is that nigella is sometimes referred to as "black caraway" or "black cumin," but I don't think it is related to either one.
25 Dec 2007 #23
What is generally known as chleb zwykly (ordinary bread) in Poland and Polish rye bread in America contains about 60% white flour and 40% rye flour. However, there seems to be a tendency to systematiclaly lower the rye content because the white flour is cheaper and gives higher yields, but it lacks that good rye flavour. The best breads are made with sourdough, but straight yeast can also be used.
26 Dec 2007 #24
What makes Polish bread different is rye flour. The dough usually goes through fermentation process, by adding sour dough bacteria culture ("zakwas" - no idea what that might be called in English).
plk123 8 | 4,134
26 Dec 2007 #25
So I think that maybe there isn't a "Polish" bread exactly, but a "Central-East European" bread which is firmly based on rye+yeast manufacture.

rye isn't exclusively polish, true.. but i have never had anything even similar to the "chleb zwykly (ordinary bread)" or wiejski chleb outside of polish circles.
jestesjedyny 5 | 125
28 Jan 2008 #26
buzii buziii my fave pl breadish ;) with mayo and ham!!!!! and lettuce and tomatoes and strawberries with hot tea... omg even plain pl bread or with mayo can turn my day from bad to wonderful ;P a little toasted!!! deliciouskiii!!!!!
OP osiol 55 | 3,921
28 Jan 2008 #27
I can't even find rye flour in my neck of the woods. White, Wholemeal, Brown, Barleycorn, Kamut, one or two others, but no rye. Apparently they don't even sell it at T.E. Stockwell & Cohen (a shop I refuse to give my custom - I'm doing my bit to save the world from Supermarket domination).
Roberta - | 17
30 Jan 2008 #28
Why don't you check out website. They sell all kinds of flour.
I buy King Arthur Flours in the grocery stores in Michigan (US). You may be able to get a small quantity of rye flour because the bread recipes don't call for much and the rye flour usually comes in a smaller package anyway.
3 Jul 2008 #29
Chicago has a huge Polish population, but until recently (when they lost their distributor) the best Polish bread that I know of came from the Toronto area. If you ever have a chance, check it out:

Mostly sourdough rye, but with a lot of variations.
Eurola 4 | 1,900
3 Jul 2008 #30
Yes, it looks great. But, check "Wally's" market in Chicago. You don't need Canada... Oh, the choices of bread :)

Home / Food / What exactly is Polish Bread?