- 450g Flour
- 500g Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1Tsp Baking Soda
- Olive Oil
If you love eating Albanian Ravani or heavy cakes then you will love Albanian Kulaç. This Albanian soda bread has the most amazing smell while cooking, it smells like walking into a bakers, the smell of cakes and breads. When you cut through the soda bread the texture is firm and dense, but surprisingly unlike the smell suggested, it is not sweet in taste.
Albanian Kulaç is not made as much as it use to be (except in my home) as bread is now available for just a few lek in many little bakeries, shops and markets all around the Albanian villages. This has eliminated the need for the quickness that the Soda bread use to bring.
There is a history to Albanian Kulaç in some parts of Albania and Kosovo as it use to be part of the wedding tradition, and still is in some areas. It would be made the day before and eaten the day after the wedding by the bride and groom. Making the Albanian soda bread is said to bring prosperity and peace of mind to the soon to be spouses.
A few other interesting things that I’ve read about this tradition is that it is made in silence to ensure a non nagging and worrying wife, a close male relative will watch wearing three types of hats as it is believed it will help the couple conceive a male on their wedding night. Coins are sometimes baked into the bread and before eating the soda bread the married couple snap the bread in half, the one with the biggest half will be the one loved the most.
What I do know for sure is that although this Albanian soda bread is high in calories, it tastes really good!
P.s. If the calories scare you, you can read more on some other breads.
On a large baking tray or a clean work surface, mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda and salt.
Make a well in the middle and add the yogurt. Using your hands slowly combined the ingredients together to start to form a dough.
Kneed the dough on a floured surface, adding extra flour if you find the texture too sticky. The dough is ready when it is of a pizza dough texture and still very slightly sticky, this should only take a few minutes.
On a baking tray add a little oil and put the dough on top. Shape and flatten the dough into a circle shape ensuring the height of the dough is about 5cm.
Cover the dough with a little bit of olive oil, ensure it is fully covered.
You can bake the Kulaç as it is or you can create patterns which also helps with even cooking. The most common patterns are using the back of a fork to slightly press down to create line dents all over or spiking the dough with the fork.
Place on the bottom shelf of a pre heated oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until the dough is golden and firm to touch.
Once removed from the oven, stand upright or place on a cooling rack to allow the Kulaç to cool.
Cut the Kulaç the way you would a cake into 8 slices. If you are serving warm you may want to snap and pull apart the bread with your hands instead.