Happy Orthodox Easter!
Every year when the Catholic and the Orthodox Easter don’t fall on the same date, my heart skips a beat just on the thought of a double holiday. And although I made good use of the vacation days around the Catholic Easter (check out my Madrid trip here and here), now is the real time for celebrating with my nearest and dearest.
In my childhood I always associated Easter with two things: baking a traditional Bulgarian sweet Easter bread called kozunak and painting eggs. And it was long after I started travelling here and there when I realized that baking kozunak is not the most popular activity in the world. (Shame, world, you should have known better!). So here I am, trying to fix this injustice. Bon appetit!
- 500gr flour
- 3 eggs
- 100gr sugar
- 100gr butter
- 100ml milk
- 25gr yeast
- a pinch of salt
- rum essence
- lemon zest
- 1 cup raisins
- 50gr almonds
- Sift the flour into a big bowl and set it aside.
- Warm the milk (but do not let it boil!). Add the yeast, a tablespoon of flour and a pinch of salt at set the mixture aside.
- Separate one of the eggs and put they yolk in the fridge. Mix the white with the rest of the eggs, the sugar, the lemon zest and the rum essence until the sugar is well dissolved in the mixture.
- Add the yeast mixture and the egg mixture to the flour. Mix well until you get a sticky dough.
- Melt the butter (you can use a microwave or a stove) and add it to the dough. The best way to do this is by rolling out the dough on a flat surface with your hands and spreading some of the melted butter on it. Then fold the dough in half and knead it well. Repeat.
- Put the dough in a big bowl and cover it with a towel. Let it rest for approximately an hour (or until it has doubled its volume).
- Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it again while folding in the raisins. Place it in a springform pan, and cover it again with the towel. Let it rest until it doubles its volume.
- Spread the yolk over the surface of the kozunak. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds.
- Preheat the oven to 190 C. Bake for 15 minutes, and then reduce the temperature down to 170 C. Continue baking for another 25 minutes.
PS. Let the kozunak cool down before you take it out of the springform pan.