Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 2:21 PM
Subject: Water Cakes
I read your detailed info on searching first, then asking. Found
nothing. I have done all I could to find this recipe including asking
older relatives, church where my grandmother used to go, etc. Again,
Like many young people I wasn't as interested in preserving what was
around me. Now I certainly would. Below is a recipe I have for
Water Cakes. It is from my Czechoslovakian grandmother. There are
too many questions left unanswered to be able to make these.
8 c flour
1 t salt
3 yeast cakes
1 lb Crisco
1 cup warm milk
Sift flour and salt, add yeast to it; break it up with the flour. Add
Crisco and cut it into the flour. Add egg, milk and knead well. Put
in cloth and place in water to rise, about 1 1/2 hours. Roll out in
sugar and bake. Do not grease pan. Brush the top with egg.
One relative remembers making these with her mother and cutting small
squares, and filling them with traditional nut filling (the only kind
she remembered because that was what she liked). She said you
brought two opposite corners up and folded them over the middle.
One slovak baker said the proportions were wrong and it would end up
a soupy mess especially if placed in water to rise. ???? And what
temp water? Baking temp?
If you could help it would be wonderful. But thank you for trying.
I checked all of our Eastern European cookbooks, and I checked dozens of
Czech and Slovak recipe sites. I searched also for water cake and water
cakes, and I attempted to search by ingredients. I cannot find a recipe that
matches your description exactly. I cannot find anything called water cakes
or water cake that fits your description.
Just speculating, I would say that this could be a version of the one of
three Eastern European doughs that have similar ingredients and are prepared
similarly. These recipes cross borders and may be found in the cuisines of
multiple Eastern European countries:
1)"Kolache" (There are varied spellings of this). These may be eaten without
fillings, like dinner rolls, or they may be filled with sausage or cheese
fillings or nut fillings or jam or jelly fillings. Sometimes, in addition to
the ingredients that you list, sugar is included. There is one recipe below
as an example.
2) "Pagache" or "Pagachi" (There are varied spellings of this). See
12/29/06 for recipes.
This can be filled, or eaten as a flat bread or topped with things like a pizza.
Sometimes it's made with potatoes.
3) "Potica" or "Povitica" - (There are varied spellings of this). These
usually have some sugar in the dough and are filled with various fillings,
including nut fillings.
As I said, this is speculation. You just don't have enough unique
information for me to be able to figure it out for sure. Here are some
1) Try posting your request on some Czech or Slovak message boards.
2) "Water cakes" is probably not the real name. It likely has a Czech or
Slovak name. Knowing that name would help immensely.
3) I don't put much stock in what the Slovak baker said.
4) I don't think she meant to put the dough directly in the water to rise. I
think she meant "leave the dough in the bowl, cover it with a cloth, and
place the bowl of dough in a pan of warm water to rise."
5) You have to try the recipe, right? No guarantees. You'll have to
experiment a little and take a chance.
6) So, if you decide to try the recipe as-is, bake them until browned on
top. 350į or 375į for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned.
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. soft Crisco shortening
Dash of salt
4 c. flour
3/4 c. warm water
1 pkg. dry yeast
Dissolve dry yeast in 3/4 cup warm water and set aside. Cream together the first 4 ingredients.
Add yeast mixture and 2 cups flour to the creamed mixture. Mix well and then add the remaining flour.
Place dough in a buttered bowl and cover with a towel. Set in a warm place and allow to rise for
1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: Water Cakes
Thank you for checking so quickly.
I wish I knew the other name for the cakes. Of the one thing I am
sure is that it does get wrapped in cheesecloth and rise in water. My
mother's recipe and mine both say that. I suspect that is where the
name came from. I have recipes for rozky, bobka, several kinds of
kolachky (sp? different than yours), challah, pirohi, plus the nut/
poppy seed/lekvar/cheese cakes - both the large and small kind, and
others which I do not have another name for and may be from when they
emigrated here. My cousin and I used to spend the week before Easter
with our grandmother making all kinds of traditional Easter things
for the baskets to be blessed, and pysanky (only one color ones). We
used to hang the cheese in cheesecloth and let it drip, which is why
I don't think she would have mentioned using cheesecloth and not mean
it. But I could be wrong.
Could you perhaps suggest some of these message boards. I have never
used one. Do I just post the question about the recipe?
On another note - I just made my grandmother's crullers with my
granddaughter and she asked if we had old "secret" recipes. While
not secret I showed her our little book of "Anna Terchanka Kuzmuk's"
recipes. Perhaps I will be able to pass some down and they will be
appreciated after all.
Here they are:
My Czech Republic
Pat, I'm not telling you to search these boards. I'm telling you to post
your request for information about your water cakes recipe on those boards.
People from Czechoslovakia read those message boards, and they might be able
to help you.
I will post your request on my own site when it's turn comes in a few weeks,
and if any of my readers respond, then I'll let you know. I don't know of
anything else that I can do to help you. I have searched everywhere that I
know to search, and I cannot find any recipe called "water cakes" that
matches your recipe. I can't find anything called "water cakes" at all that
doesn't have sugar in it. I cannot find any recipe by any name that matches
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2013 2:31 PM
Subject: Czechoslovakian water cakes
I was browsing requests on your site and noticed a request for Czech Water Cakes from a lady named Pat.
Please go to Cooks.com and type in water-dough nut rolls. I think this might be what she is looking for.
Thanks, Iíll send the Cooks.com recipe to her.
Water Dough-Nut Rolls
1 lb. butter
1 lg. cake yeast
1 lg. can milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
7 c. flour
1. Mix all together. Put in a clean cloth. Let set in cold ice water for 1 hour.
2. Grind FINE 3 or 4 pounds pecans or walnuts. Sweeten with sugar to taste. Mix with warm milk to make a paste. Set aside.
3. Mix together 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Use to roll your dough out on.
4. Pinch off piece of dough the size of a walnut. Roll out; spread with nut paste.
5. Roll up dough and shape like croissant or twist.
6. Repeat with remaining dough.
7. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
Oh my, it certainly is close. I would prefer to use the butter and
the technique is what I imagined. How wonderful! Thank you to the
reader and you for such a big help. I am amazed to actually see
something. Thank you again for your help. The grandchildren and I
will have a project one of these days.
I chanced upon the issue of "Water Cakes" discussed in your forum, and I would like to share what I found in my research
of the subject on some Slovak recipe sites.
Apparently, the term "water cake" comes from the technique of letting a particular yeast cake dough rise in cold water,
which provides even, stable temperature. Thus the dough is put in a bowl of water for an hour or more to rise until it
pops up to the surface and is ready for further processing.
The general cakes (kolace,kolache, kolacky, etc) dough recipe ( sweet or salty ) is no different from the one for regular
air leavening, but it is claimed that the final baked product is more delicate, crispy, and better tasting.
Also, the term "water cake" is only a generic one for water leavening. The actual names of recipes using such technique
are specific and do vary.
Basic, general recipe for cakes:
500g flour, all purpose ( or so called "medium-coarse" flour in Europe )
40g fresh yeast or instant dry equiv.
about 1Tsp sugar
optional: lemon zest, vanilla
Here is an excellent website with many of similar and other traditional "grandma" recipes:
Links for visual illustration:
Thanks for the input. I always appreciate the effort. The requester was quite sure that the recipe she wanted had eggs.
I donít think I can consider this one solved until I can find one with eggs as well as the water rising.
Thank you Phaed,
I did not realize, that the eggs were critical, yet one of the recipes I posted includes egg yolks as can be seen here ( http://varecha.pravda.sk/recepty/rozky-kysnute-na-vode-fotopostup/53880-recept.html ).
The ingredients, translated from Slovak, are as follows:
"Crescents leavened in water"
500 g all- purpose flour
20 g fresh yeast
2 ks egg yolks
100 g butter or margarine
200g sour cream
100 ml lukewarm milk
filling of choice( ground wallnuts, jam, etc )
crystal sugar for sprinkling
1 egg for wash
Process is obvious from pictures.
Another water cakes recipe called "Mama's water crescents" which includes eggs is here: http://varecha.pravda.sk/recepty/mamine-vodove-rozky-fotorecept/32011-recept.html
600 g all-purpose flour
12g baking powder
42 g fresh yeast
50-100ml lukewarm milk
2-3 handfulls crystal sugar
250 g butter/margarine
2 ks eggs
zest of 1 lemon
at least 1000gapples, pealed and grated coarse
2-3 handfulls wallnuts
vanilla sugar ( not a must )
powdered and vanilla sugar to dredge crescents
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 10:48 AM
I would dearly love to get my hands on the following recipe. We have had the pleasure of eating this to die for soup but
when I have contacted the restaurant about it there are no cookbooks available (they don't sell one) and of course
won't sell the recipe. It is their Homemade vegetable soup recipe.
The name of the restaurant is Daniel Boone Inn
130 Hardin Street, Boone North Carolina 28607. Phone # 828-264-8657.
This is a southern cooking recipe..
For years I have craved this recipe and can only get it when we travel from Atlanta to Boone in the wintertime.
Thank-you so very much,
Sorry, I had no success locating a recipe or copycat for this. Iíll post this on my site Ė perhaps a reader can help.
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:04 AM
Subject: Rich's Department Store Bakery Fruit Bars
Desire recipe for:
Fruit Bars from:
Rich's Department Store Bakery (Bought out by Macy's years ago.)
Sorry, no luck with that recipe. You might be interested in this:
Brown Sugar Cookie Bars Inspired by Rich's
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 8:41 AM
Subject: looking for a recipe
I just came across your site. Iím hoping you can help me out, in satisfying a cravingÖ.
Originally from Montreal, Iíve lived in UK and now in USA (NJ).
Iím trying to find a substitute for a chocolate Danish, that Iíve always used to purchase at
kosher quality bakery in Montreal (on van horne street). Danish elsewhere just donít taste the same.
Something to do with the dough, Iíd guess. Iíve tried purchasing Danish from various bakeries, and
they just donít taste the same. Iíve tried to find recipes and do it on my own, and just not the sameÖ.
Iíd be very grateful if you could find the recipe for this.
There are several requests on message boards for this (possibly yours?) with no success.
This is a commercial bakery, so finding their actual recipe on the Internet would be unlikely.
I had no success. Likewise, I had no success with a copycat recipe.
Youíve tried chocolate Danish from other kosher bakeries?
Iíll post this on my site in the hope that a reader can help, but, frankly, probably your only chance
for satisfying your craving for this Danish is a drive up Highway 87.