HOMEMADE BREAD AND CHEESE ON THE FAMILY TABLE
From time immemorial Lithuanian bread has been highly respected and treasured. Even in the Stone Age, it was known as the daily food, while today bread is indispensable for Lithuanians. According to the ancient Lithuanian recipes bread is baked both at home, and in large bakeries for shops. However, the oven baked bread is the tastiest – it has a particularly delicious aroma, and mouthful is instantly filled with remarkable flavours. A common Lithuanian housewife will offer you handmade white Lithuanian cheese to taste along with the homemade bread. You will never find such a smart combination of any other country in the world.
Bread accompanies Lithuanians in their most important moments of life
Bread in Lithuania is not only a commonplace meal, but a symbol for all life's great celebrations. Until now, for the life to be generous, it is common to bring a gift of a large oven-baked loaf of homemade bread for the young couple during the wedding. Black bread is presented to those who move into a new home, wishing that the home is always plentiful. The bread, which you never find in any other part of the world, is used to welcome the honoured guests of Lithuania – it is served on a linen towel and given to taste, wishing well.
Bread is very dear for Lithuanians and considered to be sacred. Children are taught from an early age that if a piece of bread was accidentally dropped on the ground, you must not only pick it, but also to kiss – thus apologizing. You cannot dispose of the bread, if it gets old, it is fed to animals, or birds.
Bake the Lithuanian bread yourself
If you've been interested in the magic Lithuanian bread recipe, we invite you to come and try to bake it yourself. First of all you will learn about the way of breadmaking, from sowing the rye to the dough mixing and placing in the oven, you will learn to separate grain from which it is made, you will hear about the bread baking traditions and customs, you will see the ancient household utensils, used for grinding, cutting and thrashing the rye. And when you will know enough – then roll up your sleeves, put on the apron and start working, make your own loaf of bread.
Of course, you can just sit and watch a complex and interesting bread baking process without participating. You will see a Lithuanian housekeeper who initially heats up the oven for 2 to 2.5 hours, using two handfuls of wood, and then takes a pine broom to clean the coals. Then, makes bread loaves from the dough that has been kneaded for a few hours, places them on the peels and pushes into the oven. After baking, the bread is carefully washed, and the crust is coated with lard, oil or beaten egg.
Pressing cheese is easy and the taste is fabulous
The fresh bread is very tasty with freshly pressed curd cheese. Lithuania has been famous with delicious dairy products for a long time, and the white Lithuanian cheese is special because you will not find it anywhere else. It is made from sour milk – it is heated, the curd is then placed into triangle bags and pressed with a special cheese press. Housewives sometimes add caraway seeds, poppy to these white delicacies, and almost always add salt – to make them even more delicious. White cheese is not only eaten with homemade bread we eat, but also goes well with honey, and a variety of berry jams. And if your family cannot eat all of it, it can be dried – again, it's pretty unusual, but really a great snack.
You can buy some fresh or dried curd cheese, a jar of honey, homemade bread and jams in the farmers' fairs, and taste it upon visiting the hospital Lithuanian rural people.
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