Submitted by Michelle
When I was a girl, my Polish grandmother would make placek (plah-sek) for holidays, particularly Easter. Placek is a simple Polish coffee cake. Last year at Easter-time, I set out to find a recipe for placek, since my grandmother did not write her recipes down. She baked more by feel and look than by measuring. Luckily for me, the internet is filled with recipes and I found the perfect one at Delicious Inspiration.
This year, I have been incredibly busy, working on a Master's degree whilst teaching full time and trying to maintain my Stampin' Up business. Many things have been put on hold, but placek has not. Last week I pulled the recipe out and got to baking.
Everything starts with a wet batter that has yeast added to it, often referred to as a "sponge" in the baking world. The batter pictured above is simply milk, flour, sugar and yeast.
After about 15 minutes it looks like this.
Whilst I waited for the sponge to get rise and get foamy, I creamed together some butter and sugar.
Then I added in 6 perfect eggs that I purchased at the Farmer's Market. Aren't they beauties?
The eggs give the batter a gorgeous yellow glow.
The next step is to mix the sponge with the batter and add more flour, along with golden raisins. I used the dough hook on my Kitchen Aide mixer to knead it for 5 minutes.
After 2.5 hours, I got this. I know the picture doesn't show it well, but the bowl the dough is in is the biggest mixing bowl I own.
The recipe makes a lot of placek, so I purchased these disposable paper pans at Sur La Table so I could share the finished product with friends.Before baking the placek, I made a crumb topping using butter, sugar, flour and sliced almonds. It gets generously packed on top of the placek which rises again for 1 hour before it is baked.
The placek wraps up beautifully in some clear cellophane which I purchased at Cost Plus. This gift is for the local firemen who gave my Kindergarten kids a tour last week.
The star shaped pans of placek turned into cute presents for smaller friends.
If you haven't tried your hand at dough involving yeast, I highly encourage you to give it a try. Beth at Delicious Inspiration gives flawless directions and the end product will be worth the work.