Friday, April 22, 2011
Easter Bread ( Bulgarian Kozunak )
A few months ago Marge gave me a few recipes for this traditional Bulgarian Easter Bread and wanted me to try my hand at it. One recipe called for 8 pounds of flour and 2 dozen eggs and made God knows how many loaves. Another was rather plain and baked in loaf pans. I was determined to scale it down and make only 2 loaves. I also added a coffee, almond and brown sugar streusel filling. I don't know if it's traditional, but it sure tasted good!
2 Tbl finely ground coffee
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
Combine all ingredients and set aside.
For the bread:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
12 Tbl unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbl plus 1 tsp yeast granules
3 eggs, beaten
1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water for brushing on loaves
1 Tbl fresh lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 to 8 cups bread flour
Scald the milk and add the butter and sugar. Stir until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and cool to lukewarm.
Stir the yeast into the milk mixture and then stir in the 3 beaten eggs.
Add the lemon zest and vanilla.
Stir in the flour, a little at a time ( I started with 7 cups and reserved the rest for kneading).
Knead the dough until smooth and pliable, adding more flour as you knead.
Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until more than doubled in bulk.
After the rise, divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll each piece into a rectangle about 14 x 18 inches.
Sprinkle about 1/2 cup streusel onto each rectangle.
Roll up jelly roll fashion and then form a coil( see pic), making sure all edges are sealed and tucked in.
Place each loaf on its own baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or Silpat. Brush each loaf lightly with the egg wash.
Let rest about 30 minutes and then bake at 325F for 50 to 60 minutes.