Mlinci – Traditional Pasta Of Zagorje

In Croatia, there are a couple of regions that are known for their specific traditional cuisine and indigenous pasta. For example, Istria is known for fuži, while Korčula for its traditional preparation of žrnovski makaruni (the recipe is coming, don’t worry!). Of course, there are a lot more types of pasta in Croatia than just these mentioned (and again – no worries, we’ll try to make them as much as possible), and today, we are going to the region Zagorje which is known for its preparation of pasta called mlinci.

Mlinci - Final Result 2

Mlinci are a crunchy and thorn-up combination of pasta and flatbread with recognizable burnt-out bubbles. We know, it doesn’t sound too appealing, right? But trust us, it is delicious! Even though it can be consumed as a crunchy snack, once it is baked, dried, and crunchy, it needs to be cooked and dipped into the juice from the roasted meat. Mlinci are a great side dish that is usually served with turkey, but it can also be great in the combination with chicken, pork, goose, and duck, it all depends on the traditional recipes or modern twists and combinations! Today, mlinci are great with any type of roasted meat and they can easily be combined with new and interesting ingredients!

History, Variations & More

Mlinci are a typical ingredient to bake and cook in Croatian, Serbian, and Slovenian cuisine but they origin from the Croatian region Zagorje. Due to that, zagorski mlinci have a European protected geographical indication.

But how mlinci came to be? Well, in the past, women who were working for wealthy people use to carry home small pieces of pasta (leftovers) in order to feed their families. They would roll out those pieces and bake them in the oven. And that’s how the recipe actually came to be.

Mlinci - Final Result 8

In Croatia, mlinci are mostly prepared in Zagorje and Slavonia. They are a perfect side dish with roasted turkey or some other type of roasted meat. For example, in Slovenia, mlinci are served with goose or duck, and red cabbage with apple. There, the dish is prepared for the festivity of Saint Martin when young wine becomes wine. Besides goose or duck, people in Slovenia often prepare mlinci with chicken, the same as in Serbia.

Every country probably has some type and version of mlinci since they present something between pasta and flatbread. But they are really unique in this part of the world or to be precise – in Croatia and other Balkan countries. Besides that, there are a lot of types of this pasta in the world that are actually made to be eaten baked and crunchy and don’t require to be cooked before serving. A lot of countries, a lot of cuisines, and a lot of recipes. Can we taste them all? Probably not, but we still can hope!

How To Knead, Make & Prepare

We know that homemade mlinci may look scary and hard to make, but actually, they are really, really simple and easy to prepare!

You just need a couple of ingredients in order to make a nice and firm dough. Once you have it, you need to cut the dough in half and then roll it out one piece at a time. It is important to roll out the dough really thinly, around 1 millimeter if possible. Now, it may take you some time to do that, but it is worth it in the end, trust us!

Once the dough is rolled out, you can start to cut it into smaller pieces. The shape doesn’t really matter, you can cut the dough in whichever shape you wish – from circles to squares and rhombus. Since mlinci can be baked in the oven, as well as on the stove, you can adjust the shape and size to the baking method – if you’re baking them in the oven, you can make them bigger, and if you’re baking them on the stove in a baking pan (as I did), cut them into smaller pieces.

Mlinci - Final Result 9

While baking, don’t worry if they get those burnt-out bubbles, they need to have them! Burnt-out bubbles are their recognizable characteristic and proof that they were homemade.

One more thing – if you want to prepare homemade mlinci as a side dish, make sure to bake them a couple of days before. They need to dry for 2 or 3 days before being cooked. So have that in mind and plan ahead!

And that’s it! Now, let’s go together and knead, make, and bake mlinci – step by step!

AuthorAnnaDifficultyBeginner

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time35 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr 20 mins

 500 g pastry flour
 100 ml warm water
 2 eggs
 1 tbsp salt

1

Put eggs, flour, and salt into a bigger bowl. Mix all the ingredients.

Mlinci - Making The Dough

2

Add warm water and keep mixing and kneading the mixture until you get a nice and firm dough. Add a bit of flour in case the dough is too sticky.

Mlinci - Kneading

3

Put the dough on the floured table and divide it into 2 pieces.

Mlinci - Dividing The Dough Into 2 Pieces

4

Coat the dough with a bit more flour so it doesn't stick on the table or roller. Roll out thinly the first dough. It needs to be really thin, around 1-2 millimeters. It's okay if the dough is a bit thicker but it will take a longer time to bake it and it probably won't be too crunchy.

Mlinci - Rolling Out The Dough

5

Cut the dough into the desired shape.

Mlinci - Cutting The Dough

6

Bake every piece up to 60 seconds on one side and 60 seconds on the other. Repeat the entire method with the other dough.

Once you bake mlinci, put them on a cloth and let them dry. After that, place them into plastic bags for a couple of days. To cook them, just put them into boiled salted water for 5 minutes and then dip them with juice from the roasted meat. And that's it!

Mlinci - Final Result 10

Ingredients

 500 g pastry flour
 100 ml warm water
 2 eggs
 1 tbsp salt

Directions

1

Put eggs, flour, and salt into a bigger bowl. Mix all the ingredients.

Mlinci - Making The Dough

2

Add warm water and keep mixing and kneading the mixture until you get a nice and firm dough. Add a bit of flour in case the dough is too sticky.

Mlinci - Kneading

3

Put the dough on the floured table and divide it into 2 pieces.

Mlinci - Dividing The Dough Into 2 Pieces

4

Coat the dough with a bit more flour so it doesn't stick on the table or roller. Roll out thinly the first dough. It needs to be really thin, around 1-2 millimeters. It's okay if the dough is a bit thicker but it will take a longer time to bake it and it probably won't be too crunchy.

Mlinci - Rolling Out The Dough

5

Cut the dough into the desired shape.

Mlinci - Cutting The Dough

6

Bake every piece up to 60 seconds on one side and 60 seconds on the other. Repeat the entire method with the other dough.

Once you bake mlinci, put them on a cloth and let them dry. After that, place them into plastic bags for a couple of days. To cook them, just put them into boiled salted water for 5 minutes and then dip them with juice from the roasted meat. And that's it!

Mlinci - Final Result 10

Mlinci – Traditional Pasta Of Zagorje

Homemade pasta isn’t so hard to make when you have step by step guide, right? With just a few ingredients, you can easily make mlinci and serve them as a perfect side dish with turkey, chicken, or some other roasted meat. Or you can serve them as a crunchy snack (my favorite)!

While preparing almost every type of pasta, mlinci included, the dough must be rolled out thinly. But unlike other pasta, this one needs to have those burnt-out bubbles! That quite eases up the preparation, I know!

Now go knead some dough and make this delicious combination of pasta and flatbread!

Anna
Anna has received a Bachelor’s in Journalism. Through education and volunteering, she has improved her writing skills as well as researching skills which helps her to find the right experts who can educate her about the topic she writes about. Her interest in cooking, home design, and kitchen appliances as well as her technology knowledge ensure her membership in the Kitchentoast team she has joined in 2020. She spends up to 80 hours weekly on researches and writing.