Trdelnik – The Amazing Pastry of Prague

Trdelnik

One exciting thing to look forward to while  visiting Prague for Christmas is the sheer amount of treats available. Trdelnik is one of the best treats in Prague and is often known as the “tourist delight”. Trdelnik or “Cesky Trdelnik” loosely translates to “Czech spindle cake” in English, and it’s a delightful pastry that’s often seen as a national pride. This tasty pastry is basically made of thin dough that’s rolled over a spindle and glazed with caramelized sugar, cinnamon and crushed nuts are also added. Once cooked over open coals – as though on a grill, you’ll have a tasty cylindrical treat ready to munch.

The Story Behind Trdelnik

Trdelnik in Prague
Trdelnik in Prague

Although Trdelnik is largely considered to be a national pride – after all it’s literally called “Czech cake”. But it has a rich history that goes beyond the city of Prague. Trdelnik derives its name from the spindle or “trdlo” that the dough is wrapped around. 

Before Trdelnik found its way to Prague, and way before it became a national pastry, Trdelnik was a common pastry found in several parts of Europe. Its earliest origin dates back to the mid-19th century in Slovakia. It was a regular treat that followed the same process – rolling dough on a spindle and cooking it on open fire. 

By the 20th century, Trdelnik had found its way to Moravia. As Trdelnik crossed various borders, its name remained constant though in varying languages – it was simply the “spindle cake” which was a testament to how it’s made. It wasn’t until the 21st century that Trdelnik became really popular in Prague thanks to tourists who fell in love with the pastry. It even got an upgrade as most cafes in Prague began selling it with ice cream filling. 

In all, Trdelnik became a national treat – “Czech cake” after most Czech street vendors began cooking and modifying Trdelnik as a major treat for tourists. Now, there’s nowhere you’d go to in Prague that you won’t find a Trdelnik vendor. 

How Is Trdelnik Prepared?

Trdelnik recipe video – Famous street food of Prague BY IndianFoodie

Trdelnik is mostly prepared on open coal, but you can prepare it in an oven too. To get started, you need to prepare your yeast-based dough. You’ll need flour, milk, butter, eggs, sugar, yeast, lard and a pinch of salt. 

Step 1: Heat up your milk in a container until it’s lukewarm

Step 2: Then add your yeast and a bit of sugar and stir. 

Step 3: Leave the mix for 10 minutes while the yeast does its work. 

Step 4: Pour your floor in a bowl, add sugar, a pinch of salt and egg yolk. 

Step 5: Allow your butter and lard to melt a bit then pour into the bowl and mix well. 

Step 6: Then pour the yeast-based milk and mix until everything blends smoothly. Now it’s time to wrap your down in thin strips around your “trdlo”. 

Step 7: While you may not have a traditional “trdlo”, you can use a spindle or any smooth cylindrical stick. Before wrapping the dough around your spindle, wrap the spindle with a foil and rub with butter. 

Step 8: Then roll and flatten the strips of dough, and place it in your oven to preheat for 20minutes at 180`C. 

Step 9: Once your Trdelnik has finished baking, add a caramelized sugar glaze generously around it. You can also add edible sprinkles to your glaze to give you a richer taste. 

Yes, you can definitely get Trdelnik in Prague

Trdelnik is an amazing pastry that’s peculiar to Prague thanks to the skillful street food vendors. It’s one of the many wonders of Prague, and a must-have especially at Christmas. While you can try making it at home, it can’t be compared to the tasty treats made by Prague street food vendors.Prague is a beautiful place, with coffee to die for. I think this day would be best spent with coffee and sweets first, then later shopping and coffee again.

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