Romanian Country Bread Recipe - Romanian Tara Paine

Round Bread On A Wooden Table
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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Bread takes 2 rises: 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 12 to 24 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
132 Calories
2g Fat
25g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 24
Amount per serving
Calories 132
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 180mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 48mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Here is how to make Romanian country-style bread or țară pâine, which includes a combination of cornmeal and all-purpose flour. Cornmeal figures prominently in Romanian cuisine, as evidenced by mamaliga and other polenta-type dishes that abound. This egg-free, dairy-free bread is very moist, especially if baked in a clay baker that has been soaked in water for 15 minutes and then dried and greased before placing the bread dough in for its final rise. The cornmeal gives the bread a slight tang reminiscent of sourdough.

The bread can be baked in two smaller round loaves or one large loaf. A large slice of this bread would be perfect for sopping up the juices from the broth from a ciorba (sour soup). Since no dairy or meat are used in this recipe, it would be considered parve by Jews and could be eaten with a dairy meal or a meat meal.


  • 3 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 2 1/3 cups lukewarm water, divided

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 3 tablespoons shortening, melted

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine yeast, 1/3 cup lukewarm water, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups lukewarm water, melted shortening, salt, and 2 cups all-purpose flour. Beat with a wooden spoon or paddle attachment just until dry ingredients are moist.

  2. In a separate bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour with cornmeal. Add 1 cup at a time to the yeast mixture, beating well after each addition. If dough appears too sticky, add 1/2 cup flour. Switch to the dough hook and knead until elastic, about 6 minutes (or knead by hand). Form dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until doubled.

  3. Grease 2 (9-inch-round pans) or 1 large round pan and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead dough a few turns and divide in half if making 2 loaves or leave whole and shape into a round. Place in prepared pan(s). Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

  4. Heat oven to 350 F. When dough has risen for the second time, slash an X shape into the top, if desired, and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place in oven and bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick or skewer tests clean and instant-read thermometer registers 190 F. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then tip out of pan onto rack and turn bread(s) right-side up. Let cool completely before cutting.