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
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.
Whisk the eggs with sugar, butter and lime zest until smooth. Add the active milk yeast mixture.
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.
Knead the dough for at least 15 minutes, for best results keep doing it for 30 minutes.
Place the dough into a bowl and cover with cotton towel and allow to rise for an hour, or until it double in size
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.
Place each bread in a separate tray or if you don`t have, just use a baking paper to divide one big tray.
Let it rise again for 2 hours.
Brush with egg wash and top with sugar.
Bake for 50-60 minutes at 180 degrees. Allow to cool before serving.
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.
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
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.
Warm the milk and add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes until bubbles start showing on the top.
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.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes, cover with clean foil or cotton towel and leave it to rise for 1 and a half hours.
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.
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.
Brush the buns with egg yolk, draw a cross on each bun and bake at 170 for 40 minutes.
Glaze the buns with sugar syrup immediately after taking them out of the oven.
Reading my posts you probably already know how much I love baking. Nothing says “Home” better than freshly baked bread. To master the good dough might take you few trials. This recipe is so much fun. Not only because is relevantly easy or because the smell of all the herbs will bring back your childhood memories, but because you don`t need to slice it once ready. Yes! Imagine you will have the perfect crust and soft heart and all that already sliced and ready to eat!
In my bread I used fresh and dry herbs, plus sumac that gives a bit zesty taste and black garlic. The black garlic is somehow cured garlic with balsamic vinegar and it can be found in Market and Platters. It tastes sweet rather than garlicky and it`s an interesting addition. You can add ingredients of your choice as the recipe is flexible.
I took photos every step of the way so you can see how exactly the magic is happening.
NOTE: The time for rising of the dough might vary. Since here is hot and humid I didn`t need more than 20 mins, but if your climate is different then give it at least an hour.
This is a recipe that every single Bulgarian out there is in love with. Banica (pronounced – banitsa) is our traditional snack made of filo pastry filled with eggs and white cheese. This is perfect for breakfast, midday snack, substitute for bread or just perfect for any time and any occasion. Even though I love pancakes and their variations, banica is and always be my favorite.
Now to the recipe. If you follow my blog you already know that this will be an easy one. I actually checked the time and it took me exactly 26 minutes from start to finish. And this include the time for baking! Are you up for it already? Note the recipe below:
Ingredients (for 5 mini banica)
– 5 filo pastry sheets (same used for baklava)
– 2 eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
– 2 tbsp oil
– 300 g white Bulgarian cheese- they sell it in Union Co-op and the big Spineys around Dubai. You can substitute with feta cheese.
– 100 g melted butter – I used cooking mist/spray
– sesame seeds for topping
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
2. Beat the 2 eggs with the cheese (keep the cheese into chunks).
3. Spread the egg mix one each filo sheet and brush/spray with butter.
4. Roll each filoo sheet.
5. Mix the extra egg yolk with a spoon of oil and brush each banica.
Like every foodie I like buying stuff for my kitchen. Most of the time is something that I actually need….. that`s most of the time. But there is these days where I get myself lost in the shops with the only idea of finding something interesting and new. For this special utensils I already have two cabinets dedicated to the idea of “something special”. These special things might be macaroons baking tray, fancy plates or bread sticks set. Today`s post is all about this cabinet and the bread sticks set.
The set includes- baking tray and recipes for sweet and savory bred sticks. In addition you would need Decopen, which I have from my macaroons set. And before you roll your eyes over these fancy utensils, let me tell you that you won`t need any of it if you decide to try the recipe. However it is easier and less messy with it.
Back to the recipe I must say I felt a bit disappointed. The enclosed recipe book promised to have enough dough for three batches, but even though I used weight scale the quantity was enough for two only. My frustration came up when following the instructions I cooked my first batch into the microwave. BIG BIG mistake. Yes they were cooked, but soggy and unappetizing. I never believe in a recipes for microwave and this is another proof not to. I preheat my oven and baked my second batch for 15 mins. And finally- success. Crispy, crunchy and delicious bread sticks.
I seasoned with some of my favorite spices- rosemary, sea salt and sesame seeds. But feel free to try your favorite- like BBQ powder, cayenne pepper, cumin….. the options are endless.
Ingredients: Enough for approximately 60 bread sticks (10 cm long)
– 200 g all purpose flour
– 200 ml water
– 5 g salt
– 6 g baking powder
– 30 ml olive oil
– rosemary, seal salt and sesame seeds for seasoning
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Spread the dough using Decopan or otherwise use pipping bag. Season with the spices and bake for 15 mins. Let it cool before serving for extra crunch.
Home made pate is not a challenge to make. Last nigh I cooked pate from chicken livers. It was easy, delicious and it is perfect to spread it on a toast of rustic bread.
– 500 g chicken livers
– 150 g unsalted butter
– 3 sage leafs
– salt and pepper for seasoning
Preheat a frying pan and add one tbsp of softened butter. Add the livers and season it with salt and pepper. Cook for few minutes. It is ready when the livers are cooked, but steel soft and juicy from inside. Leave it to rest and cool in a separate bowl. Meanwhile you can prepare the sage butter. Preheat a small casserole and add the rest of the butter along with the sage leaves. Let the butter melt and cook for only another minute. Use a blender to blend the cooked livers and fill in two small serving bowls. Spread the melted butter and leave it in the fridge to cool.