If you ever visit eastern Poland, you should definitely try its local delicacy – cebularz lubelski!
First references to cebularz lubelski date from the 19th century. Before the Second World War, more than 25 % of Lublin’s inhabitants were Jews. Jews first made it from Lublin’s Old Town, Kazimierz Dolny, and Zamość.
Its simple recipe and cheap ingredients were the two main reasons why it became so popular. It was also typical for the people in this region and their diet that was dominated by simple dishes prepared from agricultural crops, such as cereals, onion, oil-seed plants and blue poppy seed.
We know from Lublin’s residents’ recollections of the inter-war years that it could be bought straight from the baskets, which street vendors carried over their shoulders. The oldest residents of Lublin recall the pleasant smell and delicate taste of these pre-war baked goods.
European Union and cebularz lubelski
Not only is the recipe important here, but also the standards regarding diameter or thickness of cebularz lubelski. According to EU law, “‘Cebularz lubelski’ is a round flatbread, 5-25 cm in diameter and about 1,5 cm thick, made of high-grade wheat-flour dough which typically contains twice as much sugar and margarine or butter as ordinary wheat-flour dough. On its surface is a layer of topping composed of coarsely diced onion mixed with poppy seed, salt and vegetable oil. The topping has a golden colour and a taste and smell characteristic of fried onion. Around its edge is a 0,5-1,5 cm thick dough rim. The rim has a crisp crust that is pale golden to lightly browned. The crumb is pale, soft and slightly moist. The topping imparts an aroma that is typical of freshly fried onion. Wheat bran is visible on the underside of ‘cebularz lubelski’ if it has been baked on a bran base.
Moreover, in 2014 cebularz lubelski was registered as a protected geographical indication, which emphasises the relationship between the name of the product and geographical origin. Only 24 bakeries make this unique treat.
You will need:
- 500 g/ 4 cups flour
- 250 ml/ 1 cup of milk
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 30 g fresh yeast (or: 1 package of dry yeast)
- 2 onions
- 3 flat tbs poppy seeds
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 flat teaspoon salt
Dice and fry the onions with some salt. Set aside and mix well with some poppy seeds. It is the best to prepare the filling one day before baking. Combine yeast and sugar; add warm milk and 2 tbs of flour. Mix well, cover with cloth and set aside for 15 minutes for rising. After sieve flour into a big bowl, add salt and an egg. Pour yeast mixture into the bowl and mix all in a food processor using a hook. Add melted cooled butter. Knead until you get smooth dough. If it keeps being sticky, add some flour. Form a ball, place it in a bowl sprinkled with flour. Cover with cloth and let it rise for an hour. By this time it should double its size.
After that knead the dough again in hands on the pastry board. Cut it into 12 parts. Roll out each part into round shape. You can make a delicate hollow in the middle; this would be the place for the filling. Place rounds on the baking tray covered with baking paper. Fill rolls with onions and poppy seed filling, cover with cloth and let rise for another half an hour. Preheat the oven to 180 C/360 F. Brush the rolls with beaten egg and place them in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
Smacznego! Do not forget to consume it within 48 hours of being baked.
Publication of an application pursuant to Article 50(2) (a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs (2014/C 80/05). Official Journal of the European Union. 19.3.2014. Available online at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2014:080:0008:0011:EN:PDF
tasteatlas.com. 2022. Cebularz Lubelski (Cebularz). [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.tasteatlas.com/cebularz-lubelski. [Accessed: 4 January 2022].
CookINPolish.com. 2020. Cebularze Lubelskie – Onion Rolls. [ONLINE] Available at: https://cookinpolish.com/cebularze-lubelskie-onion-rolls/. [Accessed: 4 January 2022].
poprostupycha.com.pl. 2022. Cebularze. [ONLINE] Available at: https://poprostupycha.com.pl/przepis/cebularze/. [Accessed: 4 January 2022].
zwiedzajlublin.pl. 2017. Cebularz – historia prawie prawdziwa. [ONLINE] Available at: http://zwiedzajlublin.pl/605/. [Accessed: 4 January 2022].
written by Żaneta Oleszko
She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics with major in translation and foreign language teaching (English and French). She is now a Schuman trainee in the Polish Translation Unit at the European Parliament.