This delicious recipe for Babka Ziemniaczana (Polish Potato Cake) is inspired by a Polish cookbook I bought from a bookseller at Poznan Glowny, the main train station, Regionalalna Kuchnia Polska (Regional Polish Cuisine).
According to the book, Babka Ziemniaczana (Polish Potato Cake) is from the Podlaskie Voivodeship section. Podlaskie northeast of Warsaw. I’ve made this a couple of times testing it. I’ve made some changes in that I’ve added more bacon, and onion and included sausage.
After my first effort, I’ve also become a madwoman about processing the potatoes quickly to keep them from becoming discolored from oxidation. I’ve found in making potato pancakes that they darkened potatoes lighten up as they cook, but that wasn’t the cake with my first potato babka, maybe because the mass was bigger or the heat was slower.
If your potatoes might sit for a bit before you pop them in the oven, often the case if you’re grating or blending several, you can put them in ice water with a teaspoon of lemon juice (or vinegar) to keep them white. Just dry them well as you add them to the recipe.
As I make my potato bakba confessions, let me also say that I’ve tried this with grated potatoes (the small holes) and shredded potatoes (the big side of the box grater), and grated is better. You can also closely approximate grated potatoes in a blender and that’s so much quicker and easier.
I made a smaller batch the second time around, so I’m writing up my small recipe and you can multiply depending on the number of servings you need.
- 1 pound potatoes, 3 – 4 servings, 2 cup baking dish (ceramic bowl)
- 2 pounds potatoes, 6 – 8 servings, loaf pan
- 3 pounds potatoes, 9 – 12 servings, 8-inch square pan
- 4 pounds potatoes, 12 – 15 servings, 9 x 13 pan
As you look at this, keep in mind that leftovers are a good thing. I love to have a meal ready to go on a workday evening that just needs heating, or fry up a slice with bacon and eggs the following morning.
Enjoy your Babka Ziemniaczana (Polish Potato Cake).
Potatoes spiked with onions, garlic, bacon and sausage!
Amounts per pound of potatoes:
- 2 slices bacon, diced
- 1/8 pound kielbasa, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick (optional)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespooon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/2 teaspooon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound potatoes
- Preheat oven to 350
- Brown bacon, add kielbasa and onion, cooking until onion is translucent, add garlic and cook a few more minutes, cool
- Add egg, flour, and spices to meat mixture, stir to combine
- Peel potatoes (or potato, 1 large baking potato is about 1 pound), cut into 1 inch cubes, add to a blender with ice water, process just for a second two times, just enough to be sure you don’t have large chunks, pour the potato slurry through a fine colander, press with paper towels, and add to meat, stirring to combine, this just seems quicker and easier than grating on the small side of a box grater
- Quickly add to greased 2 cup baking dish, bake for about 60 minutes (when baking larger batches baking time may be as much as 80 – 90 minutes, babka should be firm and crust light brown