Easter Bread ( Bulgarian Kozunak )

By • April 21, 2011 12 Comments

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Author Notes: A few months ago my Dad's wife, Marge, handed me a few recipes for Kozunak, the traditional sweet, yeasty coffee cake type bread served at Easter, Christmas and the New Year. I remember having this bread all the time made by a host of Bulgarian bakers, but I have never made it. I went through the recipes...one called for eight pounds of flour and two dozen eggs and made God knows how many loaves. One was braided and filled with nuts and raisins and another was plain and baked in loaf pans. I was determined to make only two and borrowed from all three recipes and added a coffee, almond and brown sugar streusel filling.inpatskitchen

Makes 2 loaves

Coffee streusel

  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  1. Combine all ingredients and set aside.

For the bread

  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon yeast granules
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 to 8 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water for brushing on loaves
  1. Scald the milk and add the butter and sugar. Stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir the yeast into the milk mixture and then stir in the three beaten eggs.
  3. Add the lemon zest and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flour a little at a time.( I started with 7 cups and reserved the rest for kneading)
  5. Knead the dough until smooth and pliable, adding more flour as you knead.
  6. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until more than doubled in bulk.
  7. After the first rise, divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll each piece into a rectangle about 14 x 18 inches.
  8. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup streusel onto each rectangle.
  9. Roll up jelly roll fashion and then form a coil for each loaf making sure all edges are sealed and tucked in.
  10. Place each loaf on its own baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or Silpat and then let rise about 30 minutes. Brush each loaf lightly with the egg wash.
  11. Bake the loaves at 325F for 50 to 60 minutes

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