by Linda Capeloto Sendowski on December 2, 2010

pandericas 102-34-3

A vivid childhood memory has spurred me to hunt down, bake, and test various recipes in an intense endeavor to recreate pandericas.  Pandericas are a Sephardic snack,shaped like a pretzel with a crisp bite and texture.  Perfect for eating out of your pocket, dunking in Turkish coffee, or on the table accompanied with shards of sharp flavored Kashkaval or Kasseri cheese, olives, and some fruit.

My auntie Susie Oziel Chiprut, of blessed memory, made the best I ever tasted.  She kept them in a covered tipsin (baking dish) under the kitchen sink, where my cousin Louise and I would find them on long afternoons.  If we were lucky, there would be borekas under the sink as well.

My first try at reproduction was a recipe as follows:

2 envelopes rapid rise yeast

2 cups warm water

2 eggs

½ cup oil

½ cup sugar

3 teaspoons salt

8 cups of flour

Sesame seeds and 1 egg to decorate tops

Not bad but more like Nona’s parmakes (cinnamon toasts) except pretzel shaped.  The dough was a little too soft to roll out thin enough and being so thick they really hardened up after toasting.  Delicious but hard to bite through.  Good for coffee dunking.

Second attempt, I reasoned that since the dough was too soft to really roll thin, I would add more flour and make it stiffer.  Results this time, easier to roll into thin ropes but still too bready, and very dense when toasted.

Third attempt is the charm!!  My sister Carole had the forethought to write down Auntie Susie’s (my dad’s sister) recipe many years ago.  She found it and emailed it to me. Wow! A secret ingredient and eliminate another one and ‘just like that’ pandericas, the flavor, the texture and the right amount of crisp.

To make 100-120 wonderful pandericas measure:

3 cups warm water

1 envelope instant yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

12 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

½ cup sugar

1 cup oil


Sesame seeds

Or make ½ half the recipe for a smaller amount.  Pandericas stay for a long time in an airtight tin.

Pour 3 cups of warm water on the yeast and sugar.  Set it aside to proof. Measure 4 cups of the flour, plus the baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a large food processor or mixer.  Pour in the proofed yeast and oil.  Process or beat until smooth.  Add in the next 7 cups of flour and beat or process until the dough is smooth.  On the last cup of flour add as much as you need so the dough is smooth, medium firm, and not sticky.

Set the dough aside in its bowl with a loose towel to cover.  Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Divide each piece into around 20-30 pieces.  Roll each piece into a long thin rope.  Form a pretzel.  Place on a baking sheet.  I use ½ sheet size with rims and cover them with silpats so I don’t have to grease the pan.

Paint or dip the pandericas in beaten egg and top with sesame seeds.  Bake the pandericas in a preheated 400° oven until light golden (around 15 minutes), then reduce the heat to 200°.  I open the oven door to let out the really hot air and let the temperature drop when I turned the temperature down to 200.  Leave the pandericas to toast for an hour or more.  Store pandericas in an air tight container.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Norma December 2, 2010 at 6:32 AM

Hi Linda,

These look great!!! I admire your perseverance to recreate this recipe. I will have to give it a try—since my family so loves your biscotio recipe.

I loved your Hawaiian recipe. Thank you for taking us to new places and showing us new culinary ventures.

Wishing you, Greek Girl and all the readers of your blog a Happy and Healthy Chanukah and Holiday Season.

Wendy Bensussen December 2, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Dear Linda;
Some day I would love to come to California and cook with you!
I enjoy your postings! It reminds me of time well spent in the kitchen with Anutie Babe Bensussen!

Greek Girl from Queens December 2, 2010 at 3:21 PM

I can’t be sure that I’d have the same patience as you did with these, Linda, but from the way you describe them – and the memories they evoke – it was definitely worth the perseverance, and it has inspired and motivated me – as many of your recipes and your blog posts do – to have a go and try to make a batch of these wonderful sounding and equally wonderfully looking pandericas.

Thanks Norma, for your lovely Hanukkah wishes. The same to you and your family, and to all the readers of ‘The Boreka Diary,’ and of course, to the creator of this – one of my very favourite blogs – to you, Linda, and your family.

Linda Capeloto Sendowski
Twitter: theborekadiary
December 3, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Hi Wendy, thanks for reading. Call me when you come! Regards, Linda

Norma December 9, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Hi Linda,

Just wanted to let you know that I made these today and they are delicious. Thanks again for sharing this recipe. I am not familiar with using yeast and I halved the recipe. I wanted to know how you would recommend proofing the yeast using a half recipe. The dough was easy to work with and I decided to make a second batch since all ingredients etc were out. I’m sure we will enjoy these very much!!!!

Best regards,


Linda Capeloto Sendowski
Twitter: theborekadiary
December 9, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Hi Norma, To halve the recipe, use just one envelope of yeast to 1 and one half cups of warm water. Start the dough off with 2 cups of flour. Just halve all of the ingredients using about 6 cups of flour total.

Norma December 10, 2010 at 7:18 AM

Hi Linda,

Thanks so much –I only used a half package of yeast for splitting the recipe in half. I’m sure the whole pack will be better. Anyway–we love them. Not hard to make either.


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