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 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water for brushing on loaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 to 8 cups bread flour
  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( see picture)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
Jump to Comments (12)

Tags: coffee, Holidays, yeast

Comments (12) Questions (0)


6 months ago Linda Ott Wilke

Just wondering if this should have salt added? Most sweet breads call for some.


6 months ago inpatskitchen

Hi Linda! I don't think a little salt would hurt but I don't put any in...


5 months ago Linda Ott Wilke

I made it without, just like your recipe, and it turned out great! Gave a loaf to a friend for her birthday brunch, and they love it too. Thanks for posting the recipe!


5 months ago inpatskitchen

Thank You Linda! I'm so happy you and your friend enjoyed!


almost 3 years ago Tania Staneva

So happy to see a Bulgarian recipe! I am originally from Bulgaria and my mom often made this for Easter or other special occasions.


almost 3 years ago inpatskitchen

My roots are Bulgarian and Macedonian...all of my grandparents emigrated here in the early 1920s..Hopefully you'll find other recipes from Bulgaria here..and Welcome to FOOD52!!


almost 3 years ago Tania Staneva

I was born in Bulgaria and moved here 8 years ago. I need to get some recipes from my grandmother and share them here.. such as the shortbread cookies she makes for Easter which are made with lard.. they are absolutely delicious!


almost 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Oh I would love to see more Bulgarian recipes! Please post them as soon as you can!


almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Beautiful Pat, sounds really delicious and that picture is breathtaking, I love filled yeast breads. Saving this one to make for sure. I always do a stollen I may do this one instead.


almost 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much sdebrango! This one is just slightly sweet and is great with a cup of coffee...and it so reminds me of my paternal grandmother who used to bake it for New Years Day!!


over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I wonder if the original is similar to Poteca? I love your coffee streusel variation!


over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks hardlikearmour! I think so many recipes of Eastern Europe are so intertwined...as is language..