Polish Yeast Cake with Crumble {Placek Drożdżowy z Kruszonką}

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Polish Yeast Cake with Crumble {Placek Drożdżowy z Kruszonką}

Placek drożdżowy [plah-tzek drodg-dgovyh] is the most classic Polish sweet bread. It is simple in flavor, buttery, sweet and soft. Often it is made topped with fruit: plums, rhubarb, sour cherries, but today I’m presenting the most simple rendition of it, topped with sweet crumble.

The smell of this bread in my kitchen takes me back to my dad’s parent’s home. Babcia Władzia was an expert in this (but she raised 6 kids, so she was an expert in everything). She’d make 3 large pans at once, enough to feed 5 growing boys – task close to impossible. She’d crack the eggs that just came in from the chicken coop right into the hole in the flour on her extra large pastry board and kneaded all that dough by hand. Rich, yellow dough was ready in no time. She made it look so easy.

Dough would then rest covered with kitchen towels and the new challange was to keep the kids from pinching off raw bits. Fly swatter worked, she said.

Polish Yeast Cake with Crumble {Placek Drożdżowy w Kruszonką}

Polish Yeast Cake with Crumble {Placek Drożdżowy w Kruszonką}

 

Polish Yeast Cake with Crumble {Placek Drożdżowy z Kruszonką}

  • Yields: 9 x 11 inch pan or 2 loaf pans
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • YEAST STARTER:
  • 1.5 oz / 40 g fresh yeast or 0.7 oz / 3.5 tsp of active dry yeast
  • ¾ c / 175 ml warm milk
  • ¾ c / 150 g of granulated sugar
  • ½ c / 60 g of all-purpose flour
  • DOUGH:
  • 4 c / 500 g of all-purpose flour
  • 5 oz / 150 g of butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg + 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Additional butter to grease pan (or parchment paper)
  • CRUMBLE:
  • ⅔ c / 80 g of all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ c / 40 g of powdered sugar
  • 2 oz / 55 g cold butter

Instructions

  1. Place yeast, warm milk and sugar and ½ cup of flour in a mixing bowl and mix until dissolved. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes in a warm spot in the kitchen. Melt butter and set aside to cool.

  2. After 15 minutes of yeast mixture proofing, add flour, butter, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and salt and mix to form dough. Transfer onto a clean, floured surface and knead for NO LESS THAN 10 minutes. Add another tablespoon of flour, if dough is too wet.

  3. Return dough to mixing bowl and let rise until it DOUBLES in size!

  4. Grease 9 x 11 inch / 23 x 28 centimeter pan (or two loaf pans) with butter (or line with parchment paper), place dough in pan, distribute evenly. Cover with a towel and set aside for another 30 - 60 minutes in a warm spot. The dough has to DOUBLE in size AGAIN.

  5. To make crumble, place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture looks like "dust" - only about 5-10 seconds. Move mixture to a mixing bowl and squeeze with your hands to create lumps.

  6. Preheat oven to 350℉ / 180℃. Cover top of dough with crumble. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Notes

This cake is often made with raisins. For this recipe use ¾ cup / 100 g. Place raisins in a small bowl and add water (or alcohol - whiskey, brandy, rum - about ¼ cup / 60 ml).
Right before step 2, place raisins in a strainer and add corn starch (1 tablespoon). Shake it around to cover raisins and get rid of excess corn starch. Add to dough in step 2.
You can also top this sweet bread with your favorite fruit. We often add ripe plums, sour cherries or rhubarb. You can add those right before topping cake with crumble.

I liked this delicious sweet cake when it was still warm, with a bit of butter or home made plum jam.

What would be your favorite way to eat it? Please leave me a comment below.

I hope you enjoy! Smacznego!

Anna


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24 Comments

  1. Thank you, this is a family recipe that I lost. I am looking forward to baking it when I get raisins. W e baked this in loaf pans. It was a favorite breakfast coffee cake.

  2. My mom always made this at Easter. She used mashed potatoes and golden raisins. I only have a partial recipe of hers, so glad you posted this. I am making this asap

  3. Hello! Thanks for all the excellent recipes. I am not Polish but my spouse is 🙂 I was wondering how to incorporate sour cherries in this. Could you add some details on this?

    1. Hi Kasia, you can add drained cherries to the top of the cake and then top with crumble. Any fruit will work, strawberries, rhubarb, plums or other berries. Good luck!😊

  4. I make this coffee cake every Christmas and Easter ! If I don’t all my sibs give me a hard time . I make loaves and hand out for gifts . My Moms mom, and Mom passed it down to me . I’m 61 now and still make it . I use a kitchen aid where they used a large soup pot and wooden spoon . Put Golden raisins in it . It’s yummy .

  5. My Babscia made this all the time with raisins. My favourite part was picking the crumble off of it LOL. Not overly sweet and great with some butter spread on a slice. I’m happy I found this recipe…brings back many memories. Thank you!

  6. Hello Anna! I’m so happy to have found your site and your channel! I’ve subscribed and followed you on all platforms the past day. Third generation here, trying to pass on what I can to the fourth, and loving involving my 6 & 4 year old girls in the kitchen (8mo old girl is a good shop supervisor 🙂 )

    We started this about 4 hours ago but is super chilly in the northeast of the US right now. If we fail to double successfully (have risen some but not entirely), is there a way you’d suggest to boost it along at this point? (Or what could I do to really ensure it proofs properly next time if a cold day?) I am proud of my work in my home kitchen but yeast is something I’ve yet to get a good knowledge of.

    Thank you so much and I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

    1. Sorry for late reply, in the future set your oven to the lowest setting for a couple of minutes, then turn off and place your dough in the oven. This will move thing along nicely. 👍🏻😊

      1. Thank you! We tried again yesterday and used the oven trick– I see why doubling is ESSENTIAL now! Looking forward to learning more 🙂

        1. Joy Marie read your question and Anna’s reply. My husband loves to bake bread. He turns the oven light on about 15 min. ahead of time. When the bread is ready he places it in the oven with the light until required time for it to raise. He has used Anna’s suggestion in the past but mostly just the oven light.

          1. Thank you, Joyce. I will give that a try. I’m a real novice when it comes to yeast and found many sites to learn from, but they’re either bread specific or just too technical or too vague. Little tricks like a short warm up of the oven, or your husband’s method with the oven light, are the most helpful tips to remember as I’m learning. Thanks 🙂

  7. This is a similar recipe to my family’s coffee cake (don’t know the Polish name for it) recipe from Silesia. My family’s is made little different recipe for a sweet dough, thats chilled overnight, and made in to an oval shape. Then filled with apple, raspberry and cheese, or poppy seed filling in-between two layers of dough then topped with the crumble. Left to proof then baked. It’s a wonderful recipe that’s been passed down many generations. Thank you for posting a recipe similar to it, in my many years of searching I’ve only came across a few that are similar.

  8. This looks delicious. Thank you for posting it. I have one question though. Which size loaf pans should I use: 9-inch by 5-inch pans or 8-inch by 4-inch pans?

  9. You state in placek with crumble topping that the dough should be kneaded for 10 minutes. You kneaded the dough in mixer for 10 minutes or is it a shorter time in mixer vs by hand?
    I want to make this for the holidays.
    Thank you.

    1. Knead in mixer for 10 minutes, by hand, I guess a bit longer. Dough has to be extra smooth and not sticky. As grandma said, you’ll see when it’s ready 😉

  10. Thank you for sharing the recipe. We normally have this for Easter Sunday and Christmas Day breakfast with butter and sliced ham, or just butter and milky coffee.

    My Mama used to make this now she oversee her son in-laws and grandsons making it. Her recipe made a lot so she also made rogaliki with it and Makownik

  11. We added golden raisins but we divided the dough into 2 parts ans filled the center with sweet farmers cheese! I have been looking for Placek for a long time. Thank you so much

  12. This cake brings back child hood memories of when my mom would buy a cake similar to this from the local bakery in Calgary, Alberta. It was a real treat when mom would bring a couple cakes home. The cake was round with a custard cream filling. When I had the chance to go back for visits I made sure to stop & buy a couple of cakes. So my family could enjoy the them also. But sadly around 2016-2017 when I was there the bakery was remodeled into a pub. I am excited to try this recipe. Thank You

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