MARTIN  
 
 
   
Recipes from Albania
 
   

Every meal that Vita made was a feast to be remembered.  What she did with potatoes!  How she stuffed chicken!  The spices she added to soup!  I have the secrets to a few of these recipes.  However, they remain just that, family secrets.  I am not allowed to share Vita's secrets.  I'll just have to savor them at home and you'll just have to be jealous.

Fortunately for me, there was more food involved during the visit to Gjirokaster.  When students arrived at school to paint on Saturday, that should have been reward enough.  I mean, seriously, how do you get students to come in to school on the weekend?  But, not only did twenty kids come to paint, they brought food!  And, it is a well known fact with any of my students (and with these students who I didn't know so well) that I love students who bring me food.  My favorite treat on this day of painting was kulaç, an Albanian bread recipe that even I could follow.

The girl who brought the kulaç was Bora, a delightful class leader.  I combined her recipe with one I found on the Internet to get all the information I needed to make the bread.  I need very specific information when I cook anything.  Unfortunately, I'm not someone who can wing it at all in the kitchen. 

Bora's Kulaç
Gjirokastra, Albania

 
   
.......... 2 cups of flour    2 eggs  
  little spoon of baking soda    container of yoghurt  
  a little sugar   1/2 glass (cup?) of oil  
  pinch of salt      
         

Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, soda, sugar and salt). Stir in the yoghurt, oil and eggs to the dry ingredients.  (No source really indicated how big the glass of oil was supposed to be.  So, I'm guessing 1/2 of a cup.  Real cooks may differ on this.)  Knead the dough until all the ingredients are well mixed.  It is fine if the dough is a little wet.

Place the dough in a greased bowl.  Cover and let it rise in a warm location.  (Again, I found no specific information for the rising, so I'm saying 45 minutes to an hour like I do with other bread.)  Knead it a second time.  Place it in a baking pan and let it sit for a second time.  Don't expect miraculous rising with the bread.  There is no yeast in this recipe, but I read that the sugar is supposed to help some.

Bake at 340 degrees F. until the bread is golden brown on the top.  (Yes, an amount of time would be nice, but I didn't get that.)  Pierce the crust with a knife, fork, or toothpick to see if it comes out clean.  If so, you're ready to eat the warm bread with feta cheese.

 
MARTIN  
Copyright 1995 and 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.  
MARTIN