Lithuanian bread refers to a popular rye bread variant which is typical to Lithuania. The Lithuanians eat the rye bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it is one of the oldest food products from Lithuania. Other than that the rye bread is also served during all agrarian ceremonies and holiday rituals. Lithuanians believe that their bread will save them from all kinds of evils and calamities. A piece of bread is placed on the foundation of a new house urging it to save them from all evils and natural calamities.
Lithuanian Bread Recipe: Ingredients and Method of Preparation
Two forms of rye breads are savored throughout Lithuania. One is scalded bread and other is plain fermented bread. The plain fermented bread is still baked in a very traditional way and its fermentation is done overnight and the dough is kneaded for a long time prior to baking. The scalded bread making techniques were devised in early 20th century and its fermentation takes as much as 3 days.
Here are two popular recipes for Lithuanian bread:
- Black rye bread: This bread is baked in a traditional style and is known as Juoda ruginė duona. Coarsely ground rye flour, starter, and water are the ingredients required to prepare the traditional black rye bread. All ingredients are combined in unique proportions and baked and stored in a cold place. The black rye bread can be refrigerated for 3 months.
- Scalded rye bread: This bread is called Plikyta rugine duona and is baked with rye flour, scalding hot water, starter, caraway seed, and dried cabbage The ingredients are combined in unique proportions and baked in the modern ovens. This bread has a sweet and sour taste and it can remain fresh for a long time.
Lithuanian Bread Trivia
- Bread baking is always done and supervised by the eldest woman in the house. This duty is mostly carried out by the eldest daughter of the house during special occasions. The bread-making ingredients and equipment is handed over to the daughter by a mother with a kiss. Once the baking gets over, the nearest neighbor is invited to taste the first slice of the baked bread. After that the next slice is given to the father who tastes it and kisses the daughter and asks her to sit on floor or bench facing towards the door indicating that their daughter is ready for marriage.
- Bread baking is a special ritual in most of the Lithuanian homes and as per the custom the visitor who comes to the home needs to stay until the whole baking process gets over. Also, nothing is loaned on bread baking day due to the belief that it will take away the taste of bread. Even until this day the Lithuanians are very fond of these rituals.