When you say “bread”, what a Lithuanian hears is “rye bread”. Some statistics show that just 20 years ago an average Lithuanian used to eat around 120 kg of rye bread a year. Since, then this number has grown much leaner. However now, that the nutritionists have re-discovered how good bread is for our diet, people are welcoming it back into their lives. Rye bread is back on the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you are looking for new varieties of rye breads, we most likely can offer it! And we promise to bring you both – new and long-forgotten flavors on this journey. Thank us later!
The main ingredient of these breads is golden wheat flour of the highest quality, which is white in colour. Hence very often they are called “white breads”. But don’t let the word mislead you. These breads are “white” only compared to our “dark” breads. They also contain rye.
As we know it today, it dates back to prehistoric times. Chroniclers say that invaders from Mongol and Tatar lands spread it around Europe and Russia after their raids on Turkey. Later Nordic Vikings took this precious grain to Albion.View all products
One might say that the times of mind-blowing discoveries and exciting findings has already run out. Each and every mountain peak has been conquered, each and every square meter of land has been wandered around, traced on maps, pictured and written about. But we’d like to remind you about the 95% of ocean that hasn’t been fully studied yet. And for those who are indifferent to Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s fame, there is also good news. Trying new flavors and combinations of spices enhances your brain functioning, while your taste buds discover something new; so let’s go to nostalgic land for some, and terra incognita for the rest – Lithuanian Dark Rye breads.
One spice of all used in bread-baking is in a league of its own – caraway seeds. A relative of carrot, cumin, coriander and dill, with an exceptionally outstanding aroma and flavour – reminiscent of aniseed, but with more earthy and nutty notes. Mother-nature has not awarded it with a romantic value of cinnamon, gold-weight value of nutmeg, or made it as precious as saffron. Since the beginning of time, caraway seeds have rather been a “simple soldier” in the farmers’ and poor families kitchens. A tiny bit of caraway goes a long way in cooking, and works best with all cabbage dishes, cured meats, some cheeses… And of course there is no rye bread without caraway seeds.
In German folklore, parents placed a dish of caraway seeds beneath their children’s beds to protect them from witches. The belief was that that any object containing caraway could not be stolen. Was it because of the strong smell of the spice? Or because it was considered to have some mystical powers? We are not a tiny bit superstitious, but if we leave a sandwich unattended in the office fridge, be sure it is a rye bread sandwich with caraway seeds! Just in case.View all products
Our story with Lithuanian bread is personal, it is not just some recipe, that our bakers tried, liked and brought to perfection. It started as a story of their families, as a story of their arrival to Ireland, as their history.
We feel privileged that they have shared it with us, we feel privy to their families as well. And we feel honored to be able to also welcome you and to offer you to become a part of our big family!View all products
There are two types of traditionally prepared Lithuanian breads: plain fermented and scalded.
Plain fermented bread is known since the earliest times, while the history of a scalded bread has only started since the beginning of the 20th century. Plain bread ferments overnight, but needs to be kneaded for a long time, while the fermentation process of the scalded bread takes almost 3 days. Here, at The Happy Family Bakery, we use both methods, following the long-preserved recipes (restored from the family treasured diaries of our own bakers). Yet we are strong on innovating experiments, creating new signature bread variations with spices, boosting it with our personal touch and inspiration.View all products