Mekici 


Mekici (мекици, mekitsi) is traditional Bulgarian breakfast. The best description is deep fried dough. It’s very similar to the doughnuts, but less sweet and even a bit sour as it is made with yeast. 

Mekici are traditionally served generously coated with icing sugar and accompanied by jams, white cheese and even as a substitute for bread. 

My variation guarantee you the traditional taste, but is super easy to make. I used a ziplock plastic bag for the rising of the starter and it turned the best mekici I ever made. 

Ingredients:

For the starter

– 2 cups warm water

– 11 g dry yeast 

– 1 tsp sugar

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1 cup all purpose flour 

For the dough 

– your starter 🔝

– 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour 

– 1/4 oil 

– extra oil for frying 

– icing sugar to serve

Preparation:

Start by making your starter. Mix the ingredients together and zip the bag. Let it double in size. It took mine around 15 minutes. You know it’s ready when big bubbles appear. Transfer to a big bowl and add the rest of the flour. Start gently mix and neat with your hands. When is nearly into shape add oil so you can easily form elastic, yet firm dough. In a small pan add about 1 finger oil and heat on low. Take small pieces of dough and flatten with hands. Fry each side until golden (1-2 minutes). Serve with icing sugar. 

Pancakes with almond milk and apricot jam

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Pancakes are every family favorite! In our house we tried so many varieties I can hardly remember. I think you can actually make pancakes with almost everything. I tried recipes with milk, water, pop and now with almond milk. This is currently my favorite! It`s great texture and mild almond flavor. What more do you need…oh, yes some apricot jam and butter to spread.

Ingredients (about 5 medium pancakes):

  • 1 egg
  • 250 ml almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80-100 g white four (honestly I did not measure it)
  • butter for baking
  • apricot jam to spread

Preparation:

Beat the egg and add almond milk, baking powder, sugar, salt, vanilla and flour. Whisk until you get crepes consistency aka a bit runny. Heat a non stick pan with a bit of butter and bake from each side until golden.

 

Ginger miso noodle soup

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You might noticed that I am a fan of a good Asian soup. The key is always to have a good and flavourful stock. If you have a look on my prevous post you will see a great and quick recipe for your own chicken stock. Give it a go and try this warm miso soup.

 

Ingredients:

For the broth

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp miso paste

For the soup

  • small pack of your favorite noodles
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped tofu
  • 1/2 cup spring onion
  • few radishes
  • coriander for serving

Preparation

Start with the broth. Heat the oil in a large pan, add onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft. Add soy sauce and stir. Cook another minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Ladle half a cup of the broth into a small bowl. Stir the miso until dissolved. Pour back into the pot. Assemble the soup, by adding the cooked noodles and top with spring onion, radishes, tofu, coriander and mushrooms.

Chicken stock

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Making your own chicken stock,  you can be sure it is free of any additives and sodium. It usually takes hours of cooking, but if you go ahead with this recipes you will be ready in less than 2 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of chicken wings
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small potato
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • olive oil
  • black pepper
  • salt (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves

Preparation:

Saute the wings with some olive oil for about 4-5 minutes. Chop the veggies and add them to the chicken. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Boil water in a kettle (around 2 liters). Add to the chicken and veggies and season. Cook for 2 hours on low heat. Strain the stock and discard solids. Pour into jar and let cool, before putting into the fridge. The stock will last a week in the fridge and for several months if frozen.

 

Easter brioche 2

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This is my third year in a roll to make my traditional Easter brioche or Kozunak in Bulgarian. At home they say only the one with master chef skills can make it, so I am very proud with myself. This is a recipe from my mum and she has it from her mum, so it`s a big deal for me to keep it going. I am not gonna lie, this brioche takes a lot of time and kneading, but if you follow the steps and have enough time, prepare yourself for a treat.

Ingredients (makes two big brioches)

250 ml warm full fat milk

2 tbsp. dry yeast

250 g white crystal sugar

5 eggs (plus one egg yolk for glazing)

200 g melted butter

1 kg white flour (sifted) and extra 2 cups for kneading

Zest of two limes

 

3 tbsp sugar for topping

Preparation:

  1. Warm the milk and add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes or until bubbles start showing on the top.
  2. Whisk the eggs with sugar, butter and lime zest until smooth. Add the active milk yeast mixture.
  3. In a big bowl make a well in the middle and pour the egg mix. Start work it slowly by incorporating the flour in it. Once you have a soft dough move it to a dusted working surface.
  4. Knead the dough for at least 15 minutes, for best results keep doing it for 30 minutes.
  5. Place the dough into a bowl and cover with cotton towel and allow to rise for an hour, or until it double in size
  6. Knead again for 5 minutes and cut in two. Cut in three each ball and knead it like shown on the pictures below. Make a plait and tuck the edges under.
  7. Place each bread in a separate tray or if you don`t have, just use a baking paper to divide one big tray.
  8. Let it rise again for 2 hours.
  9. Brush with egg wash and top with sugar.
  10. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 180 degrees. Allow to cool before serving.

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Blueberry hot cross buns

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I hope you all had an amazing Easter with your families and loved ones. To me Easter is like small Christmas and I love everything traditional on this day. This year I tried for the first time to make Hot cross buns, and I was very happy with the result, so was my daughter 🙂 The buns are rather easy to make and if you love baking, try them next time you fancy something traditional- I promise you they are much better than the store bought ones.

Ingredients:

For the dough

500 g bread flour

11 g dry yeast

50 g icing sugar

50 g melted butter

200 ml full fat milk

2 eggs plus 1 for glazing

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp mixed spice

100 g dried blueberries

For the cross:

100 g flour

1 tbsp icing sugar

water enough to make a paste

For the sugar syrup

50 g sugar

20 ml water

Preparation:

  1. Start with the sugar syrup to have enough time to cool down. Mix the sugar and water and boil until the sugar dissolve. Set aside.
  2. Warm the milk and add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes until bubbles start showing on the top.
  3. Sift the flour and add the blueberries, spices, the yeast mix, two eggs, butter and sugar. Whisk well until it turns into an elastic dough.
  4. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, cover with clean foil or cotton towel and leave it to rise for 1 and a half hours.
  5. Once the dough double in size, knead for another minute and then cut into 10-12 small buns. Place each one in a baking tray, cover with cloth towel and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  6. Make the cross by mixing the flour, sugar and little water until you get a thick paste. Put the mix into a a piping bag and cut the edge.
  7.  Brush the buns with egg yolk, draw a cross on each bun and bake at 170 for 40 minutes.
  8. Glaze the buns with sugar syrup immediately after taking them out of the oven.

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One pot teriyaki chicken 


I love a good teriyaki recipe. To me this is a very hearty, yet super flavorful meal. It doesn’t really require too many ingredients or techniques, so give it a go. 

Ingredients 

500 g chicken breast thinly sliced into chunks 

1 cup low sodium soy sauce 

1/2 cup honey

1 big onion chopped into big chunks 

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/3 cup white vinegar 

2x thumb size ginger cut into chunks 

1 chopped garlic clove

1 tsp black pepper 

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Handful chopped spring onion 

Handful chopped coriander 

1 tbsp corn starch 

Preparation 

Mix all the ingredients (without spring onion, coriander and corn starch), add 3 cups water and cook on medium heat for 40-50 minutes or until the water is almost gone. Taste and add more soy sauce if needed. Mix 1/3 cup water with the corn starch and pour into the teriyaki to thicken the sauce. Serve topped with coriander and spring onion.