Valašský Frgál is a sweet Czech specialty made nowhere else in the world. Wallachian frgál tastes a bit like butter and smells like rum and could be filled with pears, tvaroh cheese, poppy seeds, plum butter, blueberries, and other fruit fillings.
➜ What Is Wallachian Frgál?
Commonly, the filling and streusel layer are taller than the dough itself. After taking frgál out of the oven, the surface is splashed with butter mixed with spiced rum (in Czech "tuzemák").
Frgál is round, about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, and is traditionally baked in an Eastern Moravian region known as Valašsko (Wallachia).
➜ Origin of Frgál
Like so many other delicacies that have dominated the culinary world, frgal was originally a mistake.
When a clumsy baker failed at making kolach, she got angry and called it an frgál, a word in the Wallachian dialect used to represent flawed products.
Other names for this sweet pastry include „lopaťák“ or „pecák“.
Lopaťák comes from the Czech word lopata (shovel), which means a kolach sized as a shovel. Pecák comes from the word pec (wood-fired oven) used to bake pies and other pastries.
➜ Yeast Dough
Frgál is prepared from the raised dough, which is rich in fat, so it takes longer than other doughs to rise. Yeast dough for frgál takes at least an hour and a half to get ripe enough.
Before leavening, split the dough into two buns. Each will be about ¾ pound (330 g) in weight, which is how much you need for a single frgál.
Place the raised dough on baking paper and roll it out into a thin 12-inch circle. Lift the edge a little to prevent the filling from spilling out while baking.
Frgály pastries are most commonly filled with jam made from dried pears, plum butter, poppy seeds, or quark (tvaroh cheese). There are other options to fill the frgály, such as blueberries.
Since I live on the edge of the Jizera Mountains, I'm used to picking fresh wild blueberries when they are in season. A plethora of blueberries ripen in the nearby woods at the end of June and throughout July! That's also why I used blueberries to fill the frgal.
I recorded a short audio clip on pronouncing the Czech word frgál. The first word in the audio is "frgál", and the last is "valašský frgál", which means Wallachian frgál.
More Czech desserts:
- Buchtičky s vanilkovým krémem – small yeasted buns with vanilla sauce
- Míša řezy – Czech black & white sheet cake
- Czech kolache – authentic recipe for kolaches
- Yeast coffee cake – with blueberries
Wallachian Frgál with Blueberries
Yeasted dough for 2 frgály:
- 2 and ⅔ cups all-purpose flour (350 g)
- ½ cup milk (120 ml) lukewarm
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 30 g fresh yeast
- ¾ stick unsalted butter (85 g)
- 1 egg yolk
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar (80 g)
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest grated from ½ lemon
- 1 and ¼ stick unsalted butter (140 g)
- ¾ cup (140 g) granulated sugar
- 1 and ¼ cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 cups fresh blueberries
- 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar to sweeten blueberries
- 1 and ½ sticks unsalted butter (170 g)
- 3 Tbsp spiced rum
Plus, you’ll need:
- 1 egg beaten, to brush edges of frgál
- Sift flour into a mixing bowl, and make a little well in the middle. Pour ⅔ of the warm milk, a spoon of sugar, and yeast in it. Mix the middle with a fork, add some flour from the sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Melt the butter in a small pot, add it to a bowl with flour and yeast (the butter must be warm, not hot!).
- Add the rest of the lukewarm milk, sugar, an egg yolk a pinch of salt, and grated lemon zest.
- First, mix the dough with a fork, then knead with your hands or in a kitchen robot for about 10 minutes. The dough should be non-sticky and smooth. Add some flour if the dough is too sticky while kneading.
- Split the finished dough into two buns, cover with a clean towel and let it rise for 1,5 hours in a warm place.
- Meanwhile, prepare the streusel – mix the sugar, flour, and butter and form the streusel using your fingers.
- Place the leavened bun on baking paper and roll it out into a circle about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. If the dough sticks, you can sprinkle the baking paper with a little flour.
- Around the edges, make a small rim and roll it in. You will use up about ½-1 inch (1-2.5 cm) of the dough edge.
- Brush the edge of the dough with a beaten egg.
- Place blueberries evenly on the dough, and sweeten them with sugar to your liking. How much sugar you pour over fruit depends on the sourness of blueberries. Usually, two tablespoons of granulated sugar per frgal is enough.
- Sprinkle with streusel liberally and let the frgál rise for 15 minutes.
- Transfer the frgál with baking paper carefully on a baking tray and bake it in the preheated oven to 340 °C (170 °C) for 20 minutes.
- Melt the butter for final splashing in a pot and mix it with rum.
- Once you take the frgál out of the oven, splash its surface with the butter & rum mixture.
- Bake the 2nd frgál as described above.
- The recipe makes two frgál pieces in size 12 inches
- Please remember to divide the streusel/filling/splashing in two while making frgály (I mean not to splash one frgál with all butter&rum mixture).
- The edge of the frgál is finished before the center is done. That’s because a layer of streusel and filling covers the center, and it takes longer for it to get baked. Take care, so the rims aren’t golden brown, but the center is still raw. Hold on to baking the frgál for 20 minutes. However, if you notice the edges browning too quickly, loosely cover the frgál with aluminum foil.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart