Lithuania is located in the continent of Europe. It has Latvia, Estonia and Finland to the north, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, Poland to the south, Germany to the southwest, Denmark to the west, and Norway and Sweden to the northwest.
The capital is Vilnius.
The official language is Lithuanian.
The climate is transitional between the maritime type of western Europe and the continental type found farther east. January is the coldest month, with July being the warmest.
The staple foods are potatoes, rye bread, beef, chicken, fish, pork, vegetables, cookies, sweet desserts and much more (http://www.truelithuania.com/food-in-lithuania-and-lithuanian-cuisine-151)..
TRADITIONAL LITHUANIAN DUMPLINGS (KOLDŪNAI) WITH PORK (https://worldrecipes.eu/en/traditional-lithuanian-dumplings-koldunai-with-pork):
– 2-1/3 C all-purpose flour
– ½ C water
– 1 egg
– ¼ tsp salt
- Mix the egg with salt and water.
- Then slowly add flour and mix.
- When it becomes hard to mix the dough, then knead by hand.
- Add the flour little by little and knead the dough well (about 5-7 minutes).
- Add as much flour so that the dough doesn’t stick to the hand, but still is elastic and soft.
- Then wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
– 0.9 lb. ground pork (higher in fat)
– 1 egg
– 1 small onion
– 2 TBSP oil
– 2/3 tsp salt
– 1/3 TBSP black pepper
– ¼ tsp sugar
- Peel onion and dice it.
- Preheat in a pan, add the onion and fry until soft. Leave to cool.
- Then mix all the ingredients for the filling in one bowl.
- Take a small piece of the dough, roll out a thin sheet, then squeeze desired size circles using a glass. Place about half a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle.
- Fold the circles in half, squeeze the edges and twist them into a string. In this way prepare all the dumplings.
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add the dumplings and boil them for 5 minutes from the time they rise to the surface. Usually, I boil half or a third of dumplings at a time, depending on the size of the pot.
- Serve dumplings with fried bacon and sour cream.
Here is how my dumplings turned out. I really loved the filling ingredients and taste!!
EASY LITHUANIAN DARK RYE BREAD (RUGINE DUONA) (https://www.thespruceeats.com/lithuanian-dark-rye-bread-recipe-rugine-duona-1136744):
– 2 C milk
– 2 TBSP butter
– 2 TBSP sugar
– 1 tsp kosher salt
– 1 package active dry yeast
– ½ C lukewarm water
– 4 C dark rye flour, divided
-2-1/2 C whole wheat flour
– 2 TBSP caraway seeds, optional
– 1 large egg white, beaten
- Add milk to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until milk begins to steam and bubbles form around edges, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Check with a thermometer often; milk should reach a scaling temperature of 180F.
- Remove from heat and cool scalded milk to 110F (This is done to denature proteins in the milk that can inhibit gluten formation and keep dough from rising).
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, add butter, sugar, and salt.
- Pour over scalded milk and stir until cool.
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water.
- Add yeast mixture and 3 C of rye flour to milk mixture.
- Beat thoroughly, then beat in remaining rye flour and caraway seeds, if using.
- Cover and put dough in a warm place (70 to 75 F) and let dough rise until doubled. This can take quite a long time because you are using only rye flour; plan a few hours and know that it can take as long as 12 hours.
- Add whole-wheat flour and knead until smooth. It helps to wet your hands as this is a dense and sticky dough. It won’t develop the springy consistency you get with wheat doughs, so don’t keep adding flour hoping to achieve that texture.
- Divide dough in half and shape into 2 round or oblong loaves and place into pans.
- Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (1 to 4 hours).
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Line 2 bread pans with parchment paper.
- Brush tops of loaves with beaten egg white.
- Bake both loaves for 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 350F and bake an additional 35 to 45 minutes longer or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190F when placed into the center of loaves.
- Turn loaves out of pans onto a wire rack to cool completely.
This looks a little dry, but really it is quite moist in the center!
LITHUANIAN POPPY SEED ROLL (PYRAGAS SU AGUONOMIS) (https://lithuanianmha.org/lithuanian-recipes/poppy-seed-roll-recipe/):
– 2-1/2 C flour
– 1-1/3 sticks butter, melted
– 1 egg
– ½ C water
– 1/8 tsp salt
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle it with salt and then form a well in the center of the flour.
- Pour in the melted butter and water.
- Mix the ingredients by hand into a smooth pastry dough.
– 2-3/4 C poppy seeds
– ¾ C raisins
– ¼ C sugar
– ½ C honey, heated to a thin consistency
– 2 TBSP melted butter
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Cover a table with a clean, lint-free tablecloth.
- Work the dough with your hands as you would to stretch strudel or pizza dough in the air.
- Place the stretched dough on the cloth and continue stretching it by pulling it with your hands from the center and from the edges.
- Continue stretching the dough until it is very thin and translucent.
- Spread the poppy seeds evenly over the dough to within an inch of the edge.
- Top the poppy seeds with the raisins and then sprinkle with sugar.
- Top with drizzled honey.
- Lift one end of the tablecloth so that the dough can be rolled.
- Carefully continue lifting and rolling until the dough is completely rolled into the shape of a log.
- Place the poppy seed roll on a well-greased baking pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven.
- Baste with half of the melted butter.
- Bake for 15 more minutes until golden.
- Remove from the oven and baste with the remaining butter.
- Allow to cool.
- Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- Slice and serve.
Here is how my Poppy Seed Roll turned out. Really good flavor. Especially good with ice cream of fruit!!