Make Ahead

Easter Bread ( Bulgarian KozunakĀ )

April 21, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 2 loaves
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 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

What You'll Need
  • Coffee streusel
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 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. Coffee streusel
  2. Combine all ingredients and set aside.
  1. For the bread
  2. 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.
  3. Stir the yeast into the milk mixture and then stir in the three beaten eggs.
  4. Add the lemon zest and vanilla.
  5. Stir in the flour a little at a time.( I started with 7 cups and reserved the rest for kneading)
  6. Knead the dough until smooth and pliable, adding more flour as you knead.
  7. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until more than doubled in bulk.
  8. After the first rise, divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll each piece into a rectangle about 14 x 18 inches.
  9. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup streusel onto each rectangle.
  10. Roll up jelly roll fashion and then form a coil for each loaf making sure all edges are sealed and tucked in.
  11. 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.
  12. Bake the loaves at 325F for 50 to 60 minutes

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Linda Ott Wilke
    Linda Ott Wilke
  • Tania Staneva
    Tania Staneva
  • hardlikearmour
  • inpatskitchen

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

10 Reviews

Linda O. April 4, 2014
Just wondering if this should have salt added? Most sweet breads call for some.
inpatskitchen April 4, 2014
Hi Linda! I don't think a little salt would hurt but I don't put any in...
Linda O. April 5, 2014
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!
inpatskitchen April 5, 2014
Thank You Linda! I'm so happy you and your friend enjoyed!
Tania S. November 27, 2011
So happy to see a Bulgarian recipe! I am originally from Bulgaria and my mom often made this for Easter or other special occasions.
inpatskitchen November 27, 2011
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!!
Tania S. November 28, 2011
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!
inpatskitchen November 28, 2011
Oh I would love to see more Bulgarian recipes! Please post them as soon as you can!
hardlikearmour April 22, 2011
I wonder if the original is similar to Poteca? I love your coffee streusel variation!
inpatskitchen April 22, 2011
Thanks hardlikearmour! I think so many recipes of Eastern Europe are so is language..