Saints, Feast, Family
- Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring -
August 16 - 20
Saint of the day:
Saint Stephen of Hungary
Patron Saint of Hungary
Patron of kings, masons, stonecutters, stonemasons and bricklayers
Protector against child death
Saint Stephen of Hungary’s Story
The Church is universal, but its expression is always affected—for good or ill—by local culture. There are no “generic” Christians; there are Mexican Christians, Polish Christians, Filipino Christians. This fact is evident in the life of Stephen, national hero and spiritual patron of Hungary.
Born a pagan, he was baptized around the age of 10, together with his father, chief of the Magyars, a group who migrated to the Danube area in the ninth century. At 20, he married Gisela, sister to the future emperor, Saint Henry. When he succeeded his father, Stephen adopted a policy of Christianization of the country for both political and religious reasons. He suppressed a series of revolts by pagan nobles and welded the Magyars into a strong national group. He asked the pope to provide for the Church’s organization in Hungary—and also requested that the pope confer the title of king upon him. He was crowned on Christmas day in 1001.
Stephen established a system of tithes to support churches and pastors and to relieve the poor. Out of every 10 towns one had to build a church and support a priest. He abolished pagan customs with a certain amount of violence, and commanded all to marry, except clergy and religious. He was easily accessible to all, especially the poor.
In 1031, his son Emeric died, and the rest of Stephen’s days were embittered by controversy over his successor. His nephews attempted to kill him. He died in 1038 and was canonized, along with his son, in 1083.
Grant Your Church
and Your people,
we pray, Almighty God,
that they may have
Saint Stephen of Hungary,
who fostered their growth while a king on earth, as their glorious defender in Heaven.
Through our Lord
Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with
You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Saint Stephen's Cathedral
Szent István tér 1
1051 Budapest, Hungary
*The right hand of St Stephen of Hungary rests within an ornate reliquary in a chapel to the left of the main sanctuary.
St. Stephen's Day Celebration Hungarian Festival
Charity event "Hungarian Bread" was launched in 2010 by a law professor from Pécs (Hungary). It involves charity collection of this year's grain harvest for the needs of the poor population of the Carpathian lowland. Its idea is that volunteers - farmers, agricultural businesses, other structures of the Carpathian lowland - send to a certain place a certain amount of grain which is used to make flour to bake free bread, which is donated to low-income families on the eve of the national holiday of Hungary - the St. Istvan Day, August 20. Last year, for example, 20 tons of bread was sent to orphans from the Velyka Dobron orphanage, the Holos Karpat wrote.
August 20th is also known as the “Festival of the New Bread” since it falls toward the end of the harvest, and bread is made on this day with the newly harvested grains. After WWII, the Communists jumped on the “New Bread” angle as a way to keep the masses happy by letting them continue to celebrate August 20th while forbidding religious holidays. In 1949 they ratified the Stalinist Constitution and changed the holiday to “Constitution Day”, but the new bread was still the centerpiece of the celebration.
Hungarian Potato Bread
1 lb potatoes (use purple potatoes to make the bread purple)
6-7 c unbleached bread flour
2 pkg yeast (or about 2 tablespoons)
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
Peel and cut up the potatoes in water. She says to use 1 1/2 cups of water and save the water! You simmer the potatoes until soft. Use the cooking water for the bread. I usually use a little more water to have on hand, just in case. This recipe calls for a lot of flour so I usually end up using a bit more water than called for.
While the potatoes cool, put about 5 cups of flour and the salt in a large bowl. And the caraway seeds if using. "Take 3 Tablespoons of flour, mix with 1/2 cup of warm water and the yeast. Set aside 20-30 minutes in a warm place covered with a cloth". Thats not how I usually mix in my yeast, but today we are Hungarians! We do this the Hungarian way!
Rice the potatoes (with a potato ricer, that I picked up just for this recipe) into the bowl with the flour and salt and add the water from the pot. (If you have no ricer, just mash the potatoes up with a fork or potato masher real good).
Mix the flour, potatoes, potato water and salt with a wooden spoon or dough hook in a mixer. Add the additional flour as needed to make a soft dough, tacky, not too sticky. Knead for at least 10 minutes. Put dough in oiled bowl, oil the top, cover and let rise about 1 hour or until double.
Punch down dough and form into 1 or 2 round or oval loaves. Place on baking sheets, put into the cold oven and let rise again, about 20-30 minutes before you turn on oven to 400 degrees. Bake about 45 minutes or until golden in color. (this is if you are making 1 large loaf, as she usually does. If making 2 smaller loaves they will be done sooner.) "Bon appetite!!!". ***NOTE: I usually let the dough rise on the baking sheet while the oven preheats BEFORE putting it in. Ms. Charlotte actually lets the dough rise IN the oven, then after 20-30 minutes turns on the oven with the dough already STILL IN it. The dough warms up as the oven heats and starts baking as it preheats. Its your call which way you want to do it. I sometimes like to bake this bread in a dutch oven for a crustier loaf. (if letting rise on the counter, be sure to oil tops and cover with plastic. Remove of course, before baking.)
Cake Bake Off:
Each year a special cake is prepared to celebrate the country’s foundation.
The National Guild of Hungarian Confectioners selects the best recipe submitted by confectioners from all over Hungary.
Last year's winner was Balaton Hazelnut Mousse Torte
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT MOUSSE CAKE
FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST:
1/4 cup hazelnuts, skins rubbed off - about 34 hazelnuts
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
pinch of salt
FOR THE MOUSSE:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup Nutella Hazelnut Spread
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
FOR THE GANACHE:
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts for garnish
TO MAKE THE SHORTBREAD CRUST:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Invert the bottom of the springform pan (to make it easier to slide the shortbread base off the bottom) then lock on the sides of the pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
Place the hazelnuts and granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the flour, butter, cocoa and salt and pulse to form a cohesive dough.
Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Using a fork, prick the base all over and then bake just until it is just dry to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan and carefully remove the parchment from under the shortbread. Reattach the sides of the pan around the shortbread base. Set aside.
WHILE THE CRUST IS BAKING AND COOLING, PREPARE THE MOUSSE:
Place the water in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan then sprinkle with the gelatin. Set aside until the gelatin is softened, about 5 minutes. Heat the softened gelatin over low heat and stir just until melted. Add the chocolate hazelnut spread and espresso powder and whisk until combined. Remove the pan from the heat source and transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the mascarpone cheese and vanilla to the hazelnut mixture and whisk until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons sugar on low speed just until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until the cream holds soft peaks. Whisk one third of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining whipped cream until blended. Spoon the filling into the springform pan on top of the shortbread crust. Using an offset spatula, smooth the top, cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
TO PREPARE THE GANACHE:
In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat source and add the chopped bittersweet chocolate. Allow the mixture to set for 2-3 minutes, then lightly whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool until cooled, but still pourable and slightly thickened.
To assemble, run a thin warm knife around the inside of the springform pan. Remove the sides and carefully slide the cake onto a serving plate or cake stand. Pour the ganache onto the top of the cake and gently spread it to the edges, allowing a little ganache to drip decoratively down the sides. Garnish with chopped hazelnuts if desired.
The covered cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before adding the ganache glaze.
To cut the cake, warm a large, thin knife under hot running water. Dry the knife then gently cut each piece, wiping the knife clean between cuts.
You will need an 8" springform pan to prepare this recipe.
The total time does not include refrigeration.