Serbian Homemade Bread Recipe (WW1 Bread That Won the War)

During the First World War, the Serbian army had to deal with numerous problems – including lack of ammunition, man power and weather conditions – but the toughest of them all was definitely hunger.

So it’s no wonder why so many stories deal with Tain – the homemade bread of the Serbian army, which supposedly has certain “magical powers.” While most of the stories that deal with Tain are simply legends, one of them is certainly true.


The Story Of Aleksa Zdravkovic

The story deals with Private Aleksa Zdravkovic, who survived both the Balkan Wars and WWI (from 1912 to 1918) carrying a loaf of Tain that his mother prepared and told him to keep as good luck charm.

During the eight long years, the Serbian solider carried around the Tain everywhere he went. And believed that the bread and the strong will of his mother brought him luck and offered protection.

And as SBS reports, the loaf of Tain is still kept to this day in the Museum of Ponisavlje in Serbia as a symbol of endurance and hope of the entire Serbian Army in the First World War.

How To Prepare Tain

Now, whether you believe Tain has any magical powers or not, you have to admit that the story is fascinating. And if you want to try this “wonder-bread”, you’re in luck, because it has a very easy preparation method.

Of course, we should note that if you don’t have enough time to go grocery-shopping or you simply don’t know where to acquire all of the ingredients, you can always use a service like  blue apron company that delivers fresh ingredients right at your front door.

The Ingredients

Homemade Bread
  • You need three cups of flour. While it doesn’t matter whether you use ordinary or rye flour, some people like to use a combination of both.
  • Two or three teaspoons of salt. Once again, you can use either the regular kitchen salt or sea salt if you prefer.
  • A quarter to half teaspoon of instant yeast
  • One and a half glass of clear water

The Preparation Process

You just need to mix the flour, yeast and salt, stir it for a couple of minutes and then add water, once you add it, stir it for a couple of more minutes and then leave it to stand for the next twelve hours.

If you want to have a better crust, then you should leave the dough in a plastic bag. After the twelve hours, take the dough and stir it again leave it until it doesn’t show any air bubbles. This process could last up to 12 hours, but it will probably take less (around seven to eight hours).

After that, sprinkle some flour over your kitchen counter, spread the prepared dough and fold it. After you do that, turn the dough over, take a plastic wrap, put it in it and let it stay for sixty minutes or so.

Also, thirty minutes before you want to start baking the bread, you need to heat your pan (you must have a pan with a lid). Once you place the dough inside, bake the bread for thirty minutes at 250 degrees. Then remove the id and bake the bread for another ten to fifteen minutes and you’re all done.

Final Thoughts

And once you take bread out of the pan to let it cool down, you’ll a high pitch sound as it cools (some people like to say that sings). So make sure to try it out, you never know it may bring you some good luck just as it did to Aleksa Zdravkovic. By Theresa Brawner

Theresa Brawner is a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who regularly writes articles for When she isn't helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.

Emily Brathen

Hi there! I'm Emily Brathen. I am a fitness and yoga instructor and a mom of one. Despite my hectic schedule, I still find time for doing the thing I love most - fitness and yoga. I love doing and teaching fitness and yoga because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health and fitness back into their own hands.

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