Easter is around the corner and it is time that I begin with the preparation of zurek. For centuries, zurek was a poor people ‘s meal in Upper Silesia (today’s Poland). Today, it belongs to the classic Polish cuisine and is often served for Easter. Perhaps that is why this soup is known in the German-speaking region, especially in Austria, under the name Ostersuppe (Easter Soup). The Polish name zurek or zur is derived from the German word “sauer” (sour) and points to the sour taste of this dish, which comes from the fermented rye flour (zakwas). Nowadays you can buy zakwas, or sour flour, convniently and ready-to-use but I wanted to go back in time for a change and cook as originally as our grandmothers and great grandmothers did it.
So, here is the first phase of my little cooking experiment.
Fermented rye flour
- 100 g or 7 tbsp rye flour
- 500 ml boiled water, cooled down to a warm temperature
- a jar, a piece of air-permeable fabric, rubber to fix the cloth on top of the glass
- First, we must sterilize the jar, so: rinse it thoroughly, fill up with boiling water, pour out the water after a few minutes. Allow the jar to air dry.
- Fill the rye flour into the dry jar, pour in boiled, warm water and mix thoroughly with a wooden or plastic spoon.
- Cover the jar with a air-permeable cloth and fix it with a rubber.
- Leave in a warm place (room temperature) for 5 – 6 days, until it develops a fresh sour smell. It is important not to stirr the liquid for the first 3 days. Afterwards, the mixture can be thoroughly stirred once a day with a wooden or plastic spoon. Tip: By adding the crust of a sourdough bread you accelerate the fermentation process.
- It stays fresh in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
See you soon for part 2. Take care!