Recipe Success Guide + Frequently Asked Questions

Things to know before you start.


The key thing I’ve learned in my time as a home cook is that you cannot trust measuring cups. Weighing your ingredients will give you the most accurate measurement every time.

Precise measurements are even more important for less experienced cooks, who aren’t as familiar with the process (and wouldn’t know how to improvise and “save” the dish if something goes haywire).

That’s the reason why I highly recommend using a scale. But if you don’t own one, you can try measuring by volume. Use a dry measuring cup for dry ingredients, and a liquid measuring cup for the wet ones.


It may be difficult to find certain ingredients that are commonly used in Polish recipes if you are outside of Poland. While I make an effort to suggest appropriate substitutes, it’s important to note that these changes may result in a dish that tastes different from the original dish. 

Related post: Common Polish Ingredient Substitution Guide

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to predict the final outcome when using alternatives. Nevertheless, I would like to encourage you to experiment – trust me, it’s fun.

That said, I would like to point out a few ingredients:


Large-grain kosher and sea salts have gained popularity in the US and worldwide. However, they measure differently than table salt. In Polish cooking, standard table salt is typically the preferred salt for recipes, unless otherwise specified.


Personally, I have a fondness for using fresh yeast in my baking attempts. However, I understand that it may be hard to find in certain regions worldwide. Therefore, to make things easier, all recipes have been tested with dry yeast instead.

Broth, stock & bouillon

The store-bought broth is a common shortcut in many kitchens. In Poland – not so much. You won’t find cans or cartons of broth here at all, although there are dehydrated bouillon/stock cubes available.

The majority of broths, stocks and bouillons get cooked from scratch. To save time, I make a large pot of mixed-meat broth every two weeks or so. One part of this immediately turns into soup, while another is refrigerated for later use, and the remaining portion goes into the freezer.

If you’re following a recipe, feel free to use a ready-made broth (stock or bouillon) of your choice. However, it’s worth noting that homemade versions have a richer, denser taste. If you don’t want to miss out on this flavour, I highly recommend cooking your own.

Dietary restrictions

The recipes posted here are not specifically tailored to accommodate any particular diet or dietary restriction. However, there are some recipes that are already suitable for certain diets and are marked as such.

Pots & Pans

Cake pans

All recipes are tested using the following standard pan sizes:

Loaf pan9″ x 5″ (8 cups)23 x 13 cm (1.9 litres)
Round cake pan (smaller)6” (4 cups)15 cm (950 ml)
Round cake pan (larger) 8″ (6 cups)20 cm (1.4 litres)
Pie pan9″ x 1 ½” tall (6 cups)23 cm x 4 cm tall (1.4 litres)
Bundt pan10″ x 3” tall (10-cups)25.5 cm x 7.5 cm tall (2.4 litres)
Square cake pan8″ x 8” x 2” tall (8 cups)20 x 20 x 5 cm tall (1.9 litres)
Rectangular pan 9″ x 13″ (14 cups)23 x 33 cm (3.3 litres)
Cookie sheetany sizeany size

Personally, I own a set of alloy steel Wilton pans and I’m very pleased with their performance. But if you own a set of bakeware, there’s no need to buy any additional pieces.

Cooking equipment

To prepare most recipes, you will typically require a stove, oven, and on rare occasions, a microwave. To simplify the cooking process, we recommend using an immersion blender, hand-held mixer, stand mixer or food processor/blender.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best way to search for recipes is by using the search bar over here.

It’s difficult to say. The recipes have been tested using the specific ingredients listed.

However, there may be alternative ingredients that could work just as well, and each recipe offers potential suggestions. Sadly, without testing each substitution, there’s no way to guarantee the outcome.

You may want to check out the Common Polish Ingredient Substitution Guide.

In most situations, certain ingredients such as nuts, raisins and spices can be substituted with an alternative ingredient that you prefer, or omitted altogether.

However, it’s important to bear in mind that the flavour of the dish may be altered as a result.

I recommend preparing the recipe as written initially, and then experimenting with your own twist on subsequent attempts.

This approach will help you become familiar with the recipe and the impact of different ingredients on its taste and texture.

Sadly, the recipes aren’t tested with any multi-cooking devices. Please use your own experiences when converting a selected recipe to work with your device.

I’m really sorry to hear that. The recipes are sourced from a variety of excellent publications and they get tested at least twice before they get posted here (here’s more about the editorial process). But there are so many variables in the kitchen:

  • we live in different countries and climates
  • our ovens and kitchen tools work dissimilarly
  • ingredients aren’t the same and often have vastly different qualities. Even the same type of product made by two different manufacturers can differ greatly.

That’s why the outcome is not always predictable. I hope that the dish will turn out well next time round.

Related reading:

Pantry Must-haves A Polish Home Cook Is Never Without
Recipes: the Polonists’ Editorial Process

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