Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Part of the Abbecedario Culinario - Slovakia in February!

Pagach: Slovak Cabbage-stuffed Bread
makes: 2 loaves (7 inch x 10 inch)

- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour (not whole wheat; please get your fibre from fruits and vegetables!)
- 1-1/2 tsp. yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups (or more as needed) lukewarm water (not hot or the yeast will die and the dough won't rise)

  1. Mix 1 cup warm water, 1 cup flour, and the yeast. Set aside for 20 min. to 1 hr. It should be frothy.
  2. Add the remaining flour and mix. Add water 1/4 cup at a time and mix until the dough comes together without being sticky. If the dough is too sticky add flour 1 tbsp. at a time and incorporate into the dough until the dough stops sticking to your fingers. Knead into a smooth, pliable dough and put in a large bowl.
  3. Put the bowl in a draft-free place (usually in an unheated oven or a cabinet). Allow the dough to rise for 1 hr. our until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180C.
  5. Take the bowl of dough out of its resting place and push the dough down till it deflates. Divide the dough into 4 parts.
  6. Generously dust 2 baking trays with flour and using your fingers, push the dough into an approximately 1/4 in. thick rectangle. The size of the rectangle will vary depending on the amount of dough and how well you shape it, but the thickness should be no less than 1/4 in. or the bread will stick to the tray during baking because of the wet filling.
  7. Spread the filling (recipe below) within 1/2 in. to 3/4 in. of the edge of the rectangle.
  8. Using a second piece of dough, in the other baking tray, make another rectangle large enough to fit on top of the rectangle with filling. Press the edges to seal (since the dough is fresh there's no need to wet the edges to seal). If desired, top with caraway seeds, onion (nigella) seeds, or any other topping of choice.
  9. Bake at 350 F/180 C for 20 - 30 minutes or until the bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped.
  10. Remove from the oven, let it sit for 15 minutes, then cut and serve.
  11. Repeat with the other 2 portions of dough.
Cabbage Filling:
- 1/2 head of a medium cabbage, cored and shredded
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 green or red capsicum, diced
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- 2-3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbps. crushed red pepper (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil in a pan until hot but not smoking.
  2. Add caraway seeds and turn heat to medium. After the caraway seeds sizzle, add the onion and capsicum and sauté until the onion starts to soften. Add cabbage, stir to mix, and allow to cook for 2-3 min.
  3. Add the 1/4 cup water to the pan and stir so the vegetables don't stick to the pan. Let the cabbage cook - it will reduce in volume and you will have approximately 1-1/2 to 2 cups filling. Season with salt and pepper, and crushed red pepper if using.
  4. Let the mixture cool completely before spreading it on the dough (as described above).
1. If your yeast is old or you're not sure whether it is alive, proof it before mixing the flour to make the dough. Proofing yeast - even the regular non-Rapid Rise kind - is only done to prove that the yeast is alive before preparing a recipe. Proofing is not imperative in baking.
2. To proof 1-1/2 tsp. yeast: heat 1/2 cup water to 80 F/26 C, sprinkle yeast on the surface, let it sit for 10 minutes. If it is frothy, your yeast is alive. If the yeast does not react, it is dead and cannot be used for baking.


  1. Hi Payal!
    Thank so much for this amazing recipe! ...this bread looks fantastic... you made it so well!!!
    I'm really loving these slovakian recipes! :)
    I'll try it!
    Tks again for taking part to this stop-over in Slovakia ;)

  2. che pane fantastico, grazie della ghiotta ricetta!!!!

  3. Thanks for participating! Here's the summary with all the participants: http://abcincucina.blogspot.com.es/2013/01/b-come-bryndzove-halusky.html.
    And now...are you ready for the Portugal? :-)