Wallachian frgál: from pastry fail to national specialty

By Veronika Nováková, Raiffeisenbank a.s. Czech Republic |

Loved in Czechia, exported to our neighbours and loved in Asia, Australia or America. Originally, frgál was the nickname for a kolach, a type of pastry with fruity or fresh cheese filling and raised edges, which was ruined by a housekeeper during the baking process sometime in the early 1800s. For many decades, Wallachian frgály have been a must at folk festivals, important events or wedding receptions. Officially, it can only be baked in Moravian Wallachia, the easternmost part of Moravia. However, that does not mean that you cannot make your own at home for your family and friends. Follow the instructions below to bake this sweet delight yourself.

Traditional wallachia frgal of cottage cheese and pears

Please note that you will need a really large dish for the traditional frgál, but rest assured that the dish will be empty in no time.

Wallachian frgál

To make 4 pieces, you will need:

  • 500 g fine wheat flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250 ml milk
  • 40 g yeast
  • 80 g powder sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 50 ml oil
  • 125 g margarine or butter
  • lemon zest
  • 1 egg for coating

Do not underestimate the temperature of the ingredients. Before you start making the dough, put everything on the kitchen top to let them get the same temperature. Put flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest into one bowl. In another bowl, prepare the leaven and let it rise. Add yolks, melted margarine or butter and finally the leaven to the flour mixture. Work it all into a rather runny dough and add oil at the end for better rising and shine. Let the dough rise. In the meantime, prepare the fillings to your taste.

Poppy seed filling

Finely grind the poppy seeds, bring to boil with milk and sugar, add breadcrumbs to thicken and vanilla sugar and cinnamon to taste. You may of course also add raisins. In fact, there are people who say that there are only very few dishes that do not improve with raisins added J.

Curd filling

Mix soft quark with sugar, egg yolks, raisins and vanilla sugar, or dry vanilla pudding mix, if you wish. You may also stir in some fruit juice or vegetable oil and mace spice. Try combining the quark filling with forest fruits or a red currant jam.

Apple filling

Finely grate fresh apples and add sugar, cinnamon and vanilla sugar to taste. You may also add raisins and cut walnuts.

Plum jam filling

You can use plum jam from a shop and add sugar, vanilla sugar, Czech (!) rum and just a pinch of cinnamon. Please note that we cannot guarantee a satisfactory result if rum of other origin is used!

Once the frgál dough has risen, cut it to pieces of about 250 grams. Then roll each bun of dough on a round piece of baking paper about 30 cm in diameter. Use your fingers to make raised edges. Add the prepared filling, usually weighing 400 g per frgál. Brush the edges with beaten egg and let the dough rise again a bit.

Before baking, top each frgál with crumble made of fine and semi-coarse flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, butter and Czech (!) rum. Frgály are baked at 175° Celsius for ten to twelve minutes. For an intensive taste, add a final coating made of sugar, vanilla sugar and Czech (!) rum. However, let your frgály cool down well before coating, otherwise the mixture will soak in without making the desired glossy surface.

Enjoy!

The instructions are based on a traditional recipe from Pavla Stoklasová, a Moravian Wallachian native, who has been baking frgály and other kolache for years.

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