Sunday, March 1, 2009

Famous Prizren bread of Kosovo

Several years ago, my wife, Jane, our son, Zachary, and I had the good fortune to make an automotive tour of Kosova. We fell in love with picturesque Prizren where we spent several wonderful days exploring that historic town and visiting the now-museum where the famous "League of Prizren" was formed by Albanian Kosovar leaders who first advanced the concept of an independent, ethnic Albania comprised of the Albanian populations of the four vilayets of the Ottoman Empire called Shkoder, Kosova, Manastir, and Janine.

One of the high points of our visit to Prizren was to taste a most delicious bread called Pitalke, for which, I was quickly informed, Prizren was famous.

Back in America, I had sought -unsuccessfully - for the recipe for this mouthwatering Prizren bread for several years so I'd be able to publicize and share it with others. On a later trip to London, Jane and I had the good luck to meet two delightful and friendly sisters from Gjakove, Magdele and Miljane Mejzini, who gave me, at long last, the recipe below for the famous Prizren bread Pitalke.

A few years later, I had the unique opportunity to meet Kosova's president, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, at a reception in his honor to which I was invited by the late, venerable Anthony Athanas, at his famous Pier 4 restaurant on Boston's waterfront. I shall never forget the quick and broad smile that came across President Rugova's face when I informed him how much Jane, Zachary, and I had enjoyed eating that delicious Pitalke bread!

Here's the recipe, so enjoy!

Recipe for Prizren bread Pitalke (aka Samuni)


  • 10.5 ounces (300 gr) flour

  • 17 fluid ounces (500 ml) water

  • 0.5 ounces (15 gr) salt

  • 0.3 ounces (10 gr) yeast


    Kneed ingredients together thoroughly to make dough and then set aside for half an hour, then kneed again. Set aside for another ten minutes, and then divide dough into equal-sized, round shapes about 200gr each, allow them to rise for a few minutes, and then flatten each dough portion with your hands. Spread some flour on the bottom of a flat pan and place individual portions on top. Bake at 300 degree temperature for 7-10 minutes.

    Allow to cool and serve.

    (With thanks to Endri Misho for the Metric conversions)


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