Kozunak - Bulgarian Easter Bread
Categories: Bread, Bulgarian, Euro, Slavic, Ethnic
Yield: 2 loaves
4 ts Active dry yeast
4 ts Sugar
1 ea Egg lightly beaten
3/4 c Scalded milk lukewarm
3/4 c Raisins
1/4 c Rum
1 ea Lemon juice & zest
9 c All-purpose flour
1 ts Salt
2 oz Butter melted
1/4 c Sunflower oil
1 c Milk
1 c Sugar
5 ea Eggs
1 tS Vanilla extract
1/2 c Almonds sliced
Combine yeast, sugar 1 egg 7 lukewarm milk.
Allow to stand, covered, in a warm place for 40 mins.
Meanwhile put raisins & rum into a small bowl to soak.
Heat 1 cup milk with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan until warm while stirring then set aside.
Combine melted butter & oil in a small bowl then set aside.
Separate 2 eggs but reserve yolks for egg wash,.
Beat whites with other whole eggs & vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
Begin adding lukewarm milk mixture then butter-oil, eggs & drained raisins to yeast mixture.
Combine until well mixed.
Begin adding flour then knead until a smooth dough results.
this dough will be sticky.
Transfer to a large oiled bowl.
Turn dough once to coat both sides.
Cover with greased plastic wrap.
Allow to rise until doubledin bulk usually 1-2 hrs.
Punch dough down, cover then allow to rise again until doubled.
Pre-heat oven to 400 deg-F.
Punch dough down then knead for 1-2 mins.
Divide dough in 1/2.
Divide each 1/2 into 3 pieces.
Braid on parchment-lined sheet pans.
Cover with greased plastic wrap then allow rise for 25-30 mins.
Brush with reserved egg yolks then sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Bake about 25-30 mins. until golden brown.
Remove from oven then remove from pan.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.
ORIGIN: Vera Dudarowksi, Plovdiv-Bulgaria, circa 2000