BAKING BAKE

All Bulgarian holidays generally have specific dishes assigned to them, the preparation of which is carefully observed in all households. A Bulgarian housewife has been preparing fish on Nikyłden for a long time (19.XII), baked piglet for Christmas, baked lamb - on Gergiowden (6.V), chicken - on Petrowden (12.YII), knuckle and eggs at Welikden.

Christmas and New Years are the most solemn holidays. Then, roasted hen and banica are always served in Bulgaria. While the first item of this traditional menu is self-explanatory, at the second one could be indefinitely. Seems, that it was precisely because of the inability to bake banica that the happiness of many Polish-Bulgarian herds crashed, after all, no decent Bulgarian can imagine his life without this characteristic cake.

In connection with the upcoming New Year, also Ziwka Atanasowa - our hostess - started baking banica, We assisted her quite intrusively, because she made this cake according to the best traditions, just like her mother and grandmother. About buying the so-called. Kori” - finished strudel dough, which you can buy here at any grocery store, there was even no way. And yet our Sofia friends were relieved to use this facility which saves a lot of valuable time.

Preparation for baking begins with thorough, sift the flour twice, to which Żiwka added an egg, cool water, some baking soda, vinegar, oil and a pinch of salt. Crumpled (not very hard) she put the cake aside for 15 minutes., to "rest”. Then she divided the dough into several parts, which she was sticking together in three, by rolling them into thin cakes and leaving them for some time, let them dry on the board, covered with a white napkin. She prepared the stuffing from loose boiled rice, finely grated cheese and eggs. Then, at the bottom of the round mold, she heated some oil and spread the first banana pie on it, spreading some of the filling on top, which she covered with a second cake. She set the mold on the fire, turning it slightly, so that the banica turns brown on all sides. Once the bottom cake was baked, Żiwka deftly took the banica with two hands, turning it over. And again she spread some of the filling, covering it with a fresh cake. She repeated the inversion of the banica, until all the cakes are used up. During baking, she watered the dough with oil at the edges of the mold all the time. When a warm cake, to the joy of the household members, finally appeared on the table, we felt more tired than its creator.

Of course, this was just one of the variants of this cake, which we have had the opportunity to try in many other Bulgarian homes. And everywhere, banica tasted different to us. It wasn't even a question of serving it cold or warm, the variety of the filling was also not so important, which are made from cheese here, minced meat, rice, spinach, pumpkin etc.. We just figured it out, that every Bulgarian housewife has her own, the secret of baking this national dish, which has been practiced over the years.