SWEET BOBALKI SLOVAK BREAD BALLS
WITH POPPYSEEDS AND HONEY
2 cups water
3 TBS sugar plus 1 TBS sugar
2 tsp. salt
5 tbs. canola oil or butter (if not fasting)
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup poppyseeds
1/2 cup honey
1. IN A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN, BRING TO BOIL 2 CUPS WATER, 3 TBS. SUGAR, SALT AND oil. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in 1 Tbs. sugar and 1/2 cup warm water.
2. Place flour in large bowl. Add lukewarm water-sugar mixture and yeast mixture. Combine thoroughly and knead until smooth, about 7 minutes in the mixer and at least 10 minutes by hand. Cover and let rise until doubled.
3. Punch down dough and turn out into a lightly floured surface. Roll dough to 1/2 to 1 inch thick and cut into pieces that will result in 1 inch balls when rolled between the palms of the hand.
4. Place on a parchment-lined or well floured cookie sheet with dough ball sides touching. Heat over to 375 degrees. Let rise, covered with oiled plastic wrap until nearly doubled. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
5. Break the balls apart and place in a colander. Pour just enough boiling water over bobalki to soften, but not turn them into mush. Drain well. Pour warm honey and ground poppyseeds over all. Stir lightly and serve immediately.
Savory bobalki – Rinse a 1 pound can sauerkraut and squeeze out all moisture. Saute with chopped onion in butter. Mix with bobalki and season with salt and pepper to taste.
PS: These are a favorite for Slovak Christmas Eve and during Lent, but are delicious any time of year.
Submitted by Clara Hemming