Kozunak is traditional Bulgarian sweet bread prepared for Easter.
Bulgarian people have the custom of making Kozunak – traditional Bulgarian bread. Tradition says people should make two pieces of Bulgarian sweet bread. One is left at the Church for the priest and the other is eaten by the family after Easter. It is also popular in Romanian, French and Italian cuisine. It may happen that you won’t recognize it’s the same thing because it’s called differently.
If you want to make Bulgarian sweet bread, follow these few steps!
First crumble the yeast into pieces. Then pour some warm milk (not too hot and yet not cold; make it lukewarm), stir in a teaspoon of sugar and a little flour and leave in warm place to rise for about 20 minutes. Depending on the heat this period can be a bit shorter or a bit longer.
After you’ve prepared the yeast, mix egg and sugar well and add warm milk and vanilla sugar.
Put the flour and salt in a separate bowl, make a hole and add the egg mixture and risen yeast. Knead the dough and add melted butter gradually. When the dough is smooth sprinkle it with flour. Cover it with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise (30 minutes and then punch down and let rise for 45 minutes). When the volume is doubled add lemon zest and raisins.
Divide dough into two parts. Make braid. Put shaped dough in a higher baking dish greased with butter and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Brush sweet bread with beaten egg and bake. Oven should be preheated at 180°C (350°F). Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes. Once the dough is golden brown and easily separated – it’s done.
When it’s baked, pull Bulgarian sweet bread out and leave it covered with cloth for about 15 minutes before cutting it.
Chilled Kozunak sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut.
1 fresh yeast (40 g)
250 g sugar
200-230 ml of hot milk
2 bags (8 g) of Vanilla sugar (16 g)
1 kg wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
200 ml butter
60 g raisins
Brushing and sprinkle: