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Zemlovka, Czecho-Slovakian Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

by Spicie Foodie on June 20, 2011

Zemlovka; Czech; Apple. Bread; Pudding; fruit; Bread Pudding; raisins; egg; spices; nutmet; ground; cinnamon; vanilla; whole grain bread; bread loaf; dessert; sweet; food; ingredients; Spicie Foodie; stale; recipe; organic; low fat; healthy; cardamom; Slovakian

The Summer Soltice is tomorrow and for many Summer is in full swing. Summer brings an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. We eat lighter meals and desserts. We spend more time out enjoying and exploring nature. Summer also means grilling and picnic season. Or as Mexican immigrants called it piquinike or piquiniki.

Picnics cannot be complete without a sweet finish, dessert. This Zemlovka or bread pudding I am going to share with you today is the perfect picnic or summertime dessert. But I am not talking soggy overly sweet heavy bread pudding. No, my version is a lighter version that will be loved by both lovers and haters of bread puddings. Žemlovka or Zemlbába means bread pie and is eaten both in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Typically this bread pudding is made with day old bread, apples, cinnamon, sugar, raisins and curd or cottage cheese. Some versions also have a meringue style topping. On a Czech discussion board locals said that this sweet treat is often eaten as dinner or lunch rather than as dessert. While I’m not a fan of sweet main courses I do love it warmed up as a breakfast, or of course as a dessert.

Zemlovka; Czech; Apple. Bread; Pudding; fruit; Bread Pudding; raisins; egg; spices; nutmet; ground; cinnamon; vanilla; whole grain bread; bread loaf; dessert; sweet; food; ingredients; Spicie Foodie; stale; recipe; organic; low fat; healthy; cardamom; Slovakian

Apparently Žemlovka or Zemlbába is quite the controversial dish. The reason being that those who like it love it and those who dislike it hate it, passionately so. Accorinding to this Czech website Žemlovka or Zemlbába has its origins in the German Semmelauflauf, which is an apple bread pudding. They go on to further explain that the pudding’s roots date back to old Slavic history, meaning people have been making this bread pudding for a very long time.

Zemlovka; Czech; Apple. Bread; Pudding; fruit; Bread Pudding; raisins; egg; spices; nutmet; ground; cinnamon; vanilla; whole grain bread; bread loaf; dessert; sweet; food; ingredients; Spicie Foodie; stale; recipe; organic; low fat; healthy; cardamom; Slovakian

So Czecho-Slovakians have been making this bread pudding for a long time using their old traditional recipes, then along comes this Mexican girl and changes the recipe. If there are any Czechs or Slovaks reading this please forgive me, I mean no disrespect. I couldn’t help myself but add some exotic spices and lighten the pudding by leaving out the curd/cottage cheese and meringue topping. While this is my own version or take on the traditional recipe I do guarantee that it tastes great. My bread pudding hating husband had seconds and that speaks alot. The bottom layer is soft, followed by the sweet soft center then topped with the slightly crispy top.

Zemlovka; Czech; Apple. Bread; Pudding; fruit; Bread Pudding; raisins; egg; spices; nutmet; ground; cinnamon; vanilla; whole grain bread; bread loaf; dessert; sweet; food; ingredients; Spicie Foodie; stale; recipe; organic; low fat; healthy; cardamom; Slovakian

Zemlovka, Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding Ingredients:
Makes 4 servings
160 grams or about 1/3 lb. day old bread
2 medium eggs
3 Tbs. whole milk
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cardamom
1/4 tsp. bourbon vanilla powder or (1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)
2 Tbs. brown sugar (or honey)

Large bowl and fork

1. Preheat oven to 200c or 392 f, butter a baking dish or line with baking paper then set aside. Cut the bread into large cubes or slice into the desired shape.*Please not that for the bottom layer I used long slices, for the top I cubed the remaining bread.* In the large bowl lightly beat the eggs, milk,sugar and spices until well combined. Distribute the bread cubes/slices into the bowl making sure that they are all well coated with the egg mixture. If the bread is too dry you may need to add more egg and milk to dampen the bread. Set aside.

2 Large baking apples
1/2 cup or 100 grams raisins
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
small pinch of nutmeg
small pinch of cardamom
1/4 tsp. bourbon vanilla powder or (1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)
1 Tbs. brown sugar/honey, adjust to taste
small pinch of salt

Vegetable grater and peeler and a bowl

2. Peel and grate the apples into the bowl. Sprinkle the spices and raisins into the grated apples. Using your hands or a spoon mix the spices into the apples until everything is well combined.

3. (Now you will need the soaked bread and the baking dish) Make a bottom layer on the baking dish with some of the soaked bread, but you’ll need to reserve enough bread for the top layer. Once the bottom bread layer is in place evenly spread the grated apple mixture on top. Lastly cover the apple layer with another layer of soaked bread cubes.

Place in the center of preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes allowing for both the top bread layer to brown and the bottom layer to have solidify.

Serve warm. Enjoy it as a breakfast or as a dessert. I think it would be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or yogurt gelati.

Zemlovka; Czech; Apple. Bread; Pudding; fruit; Bread Pudding; raisins; egg; spices; nutmet; ground; cinnamon; vanilla; whole grain bread; bread loaf; dessert; sweet; food; ingredients; Spicie Foodie; stale; recipe; organic; low fat; healthy; cardamom; Slovakian
What about you, are you a lover or hater of bread pudding?

More Bread Pudding Recipes:

- Eggless cranberry and chocolate bread pudding spiced with chai masala, My Diverse Kitchen

- Capirotada -Mexican bread pudding, Muy Bueno Cookbook
- Bread Pie (Žemlovka), Slovak Cooking
Thank you Victoria, Mission:Food, for inviting me to the Bread Pudding Club this month. This is my submission.

in Baked,Desserts-Sweets,European

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lilla June 20, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I love all the recipes that recycle old bread, and your pudding looks delicious!

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2 Spicie Foodie June 20, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Hi Lilla, Thank you and I'm with you about recycling “old” bread!

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3 Emily Malloy June 20, 2011 at 1:01 PM

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

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4 Gastronome Tart June 20, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Love the fact that cardamom is in this. I will have to give this a try!

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5 Foodiva June 20, 2011 at 1:47 PM

I was just thinking about you today, and then we both went ahead and posted bread pudding recipes… The funny thing is, I very nearly didn't because there was another post in draft but changed my mind at the last minute! Thanks for linking my post here, Nancy. I love the crisp topping and softer base of the bread pudding. I can see why your husband went for seconds ;-).

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6 Spicie Foodie June 20, 2011 at 2:18 PM

@Emily, Thanks ;)

@Grastronome Tart, Yay we have another cardamom lover!

@Foodiva, Too funny. If only I could say great minds think alike, but that would only apply to you and not me, hehe :)

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7 Alina---Explora Cuisine June 20, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Well, you and Maya definitely were synchronized with me as well as I am looking for a bread pudding recipe :)) your pudding looks gorgeous, all those flavors and the apples, oh, what a lovely combination! have a great week!

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8 Priti June 20, 2011 at 3:11 PM

This looks delish n so perfect ..gorgeous pictures

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9 Victoria June 20, 2011 at 4:42 PM

I love that bread pudding is so universal! Every country seems to have their own version :) This looks fabulous! I hope you will link it up for my Bread Pudding of the Month Club! http://www.mission-food.com/2011/06/strawberry-cheesecake-bread-pudding.html

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10 Heidi @ Food Doodles June 20, 2011 at 5:13 PM

That looks delicious! Whether I like bread pudding or not depends on the bread pudding, I find some of them can be too eggy and soggy, but this looks fantastic :)

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11 Erin June 20, 2011 at 6:11 PM

What a great use for old bread! I have one on the counter right now too!

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12 Steph June 20, 2011 at 6:26 PM

I am totally drooling over this recipe! Bread pudding is my Ultiamte dessert and this one looks like heaven!

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13 Michelle Chin June 20, 2011 at 7:42 PM

As long as it is delicious, you can always have your own interpretation. :)

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14 Ruby June 20, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Looks great – I love bread pudding for breakfast! And I do love your ingredients shots. :-)

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15 Magic of Spice June 21, 2011 at 12:30 AM

As soon as I saw this I thought of the “Bread Pudding Club” :) I think this is a great version on this dish and love the apples. Really lovely photos and want to get my hands on your
spice jars :)

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16 a. maren June 21, 2011 at 12:36 AM

i just love the look of that rough brown bread! i am definitely a lover of bread pudding, all kinds. and this looks fantastic. :)

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17 muppy June 21, 2011 at 1:50 AM

this looks absolutely delightful.

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18 Torviewtoronto June 21, 2011 at 3:02 AM

flavourful looking delicious pudding to have with tea

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19 Pacheco Patty June 21, 2011 at 3:10 AM

I think your bread pudding looks like a wonderful breakfast to share with company, definitely a special meal or dessert;-)

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20 Lenna June 21, 2011 at 7:18 AM

Oh, I love žemlovka!!! It is my childhood fave..we were making it all the time at home:)

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21 Sandra June 21, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Oh Nancy this is a wonderful recipe. So comforting and satisfying and wonderful pictures.

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22 Lizzy June 22, 2011 at 1:12 AM

SO lovely! My favorite bread puddings always involve apples…so my mouth is now watering!

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23 sweetlife June 22, 2011 at 1:20 AM

“piquinike,” I love it, reminds me of my grandma. A wonderful treat for summer soltice. Stunning and I love your previous post of calabacita. que rico amiga!
sweetlife

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24 claudia lamascolo June 22, 2011 at 1:27 AM

The bread pudding of choice in my home is this one we love the apple… boy with these additonal spices they have to be perfection will have to test this out for sure cant wait!

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25 Sabrina June 22, 2011 at 1:39 AM

your photos and recipes are beautiful! love your blog!

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26 Sandra June 23, 2011 at 2:59 PM

This looks amazing…I think that you did great job! Awesome recipe and delicious photographs:)

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27 Aleksandra December 17, 2011 at 7:11 AM

Love this recipe :) Perfect for a cold winter :)

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28 Spicie Foodie December 17, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Thank you!

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29 Adri February 28, 2013 at 8:43 PM

It`s were good web site, but Czech people doesn`t make the pudding with OLD bread, we make it from “rohlík” in czech :-) it is like a small, thin and round bagett and it is soft

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30 Spicie Foodie February 28, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Hi Adri,
Yes, I know what rohlik are and they are very good.:) What I said was “day old” bread, this means that the bread is made from previous day or that is should become dry. This is so that it will absorb the liquid and not fall apart. Also I did not say my recipe was authentic but just inspired by Czech and Slovak pudding — that is why I didn’t use rohlik in my recipe. Thank you for visiting.:)

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