Bryjka - Polish comfort food

Every so often, I get a hankering for comfort food. Funny how most comfort foods for me involve cooking something in milk - oatmeal, cream of wheat, I even loved having bread in a bowl of hot milk when I was a kid. My favourite of these types of dishes is bryjka (pronounced briyka). It's basically egg yolk with flour cooked in milk. Lumpy, creamy, with lots of honey - filling and warm and delicious!

When I looked online to see if others knew of this dish (my mum said it was a dish particular to her village Ratulow in the mountains in Poland) I found recipes for bryjka from that region but they were just flour in water. 

So here is how to make this version of bryjka - it's not very precise but you'll get the idea.

Start by putting a pot of milk on medium high. Don't make the mistake of using a pot with a non-stick coating - when the milk scalds it will cook to the sides and come away in icky sheets. Use whole milk for best results, plus it's much better for you! I like to use in homogenized from grass fed cows - really creamy and tasty. We get home delivery of this from a nearby organic farm.

For each serving use about a cup or so of milk. 

When making the egg flour mixture, I make a lot and freeze it - then I just cook it in milk from frozen when I'm in a hurry.

For each serving, use around 1/2 cup of flour and one egg yolk.

Put the desired amount of flour in a bowl, then the egg yolks on top. 

Mix the yolk into the flour using two forks - just cut it in. Add more flour if needed. 

Clean the tines of the forks off against each other as you go. 

Cut up any bigger lumps. Make sure all the yolk is now dry lumps of various sizes, not much bigger than 1 cm though. There needs to be some excess flour as well to thicken the milk.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on your milk, as soon as it simmers a bit, turn the heat down to medium low and start adding the egg flour mixture.

Mix it in well, and start breaking apart any clumps. If you have a wooden fork, that works best. Otherwise, use the sides and back of a wooden spoon.

It should start to thicken after a few minutes. Keep cooking it on low for 10-15 minutes, stirring and breaking up clumps frequently, until it is really thick and any larger lumps looked cooked inside. See here, nice and yellow inside with no dry flour.

Then add lots of honey or brown sugar and plop a big glob of it in your bowl.

Add a bit of cool milk on top to cool it and thin it out a bit and dig in!


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