Published on October 2, 2014
1. Typical Bulgarian Feast Bread
2. Bread bears strong symbolism in Bulgarian folklore and the culinary tradition. It is present in various rituals and customs, and it is a symbol of hospitality, family and home. Special feast bread is baked for every holiday in Bulgaria. The Ritual bread has various shapes and decorations, depending on the season, the established celebrated holiday traditions or the imagination of the hostess. Making round loaves is still a widespread practice throughout the country.
3. Ingredients 500 g flour 10 g yeast 1 tea cupful fresh milk 2 eggs 1 teaspoonful sugar 1 spoonful vegetable oil salt to taste Directions: Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of tepid water and let it rise. Mix the flour, the milk, the egg whites, the vegetable oil, the sugar and the salt and then add the yeast. Shape a ball of the soft dough thus produced. Wrap it in a cheese-cloth and soak it in a large vessel full of water. Take it out when it comes to float. Spread it in a baking dish buttered beforehand. Punch the loaf with a fork several times and spread the egg yolk on top. Bake it on a medium oven. After taking the bread out, cover it with a moist cloth in order to prevent its crust from getting too hard.
4. Christmas in Bulgaria wouldn't be the same without koledna pitka, a round loaf of bread that is broken into pieces by the head of the house. Each family member is given a piece. A coin is hidden inside the round bread and whoever gets it will have luck, health and prosperity in the coming year. The pita for Christmas Eve is made without eggs and often with baking soda instead of yeast. The pita is often elaborately decorated with religious and family symbols made of dough on top of the bread.
5. BULGARIAN SODA BREAD (Sodena Pitka) Ingredients: 3 medium sized eggs 1 ½ cups yoghurt ½ tsp. salt 1 ½ tsp. baking soda 2-3 tbsp. sunflower oil 800 gr. flour ½ egg yolk Directions: o Mix the eggs with the yoghurt o Add the salt and baking soda o Add the oil o Pour the flour in a baking pan o Make a well in the middle of the flour and start pouring the egg mix in the well while mixing thoroughly with the flour to make the dough (if the dough is too tough, add some lukewarm water / if dough is too sticky, add some flour o Knead the dough for about 15 min. and form into a flat circle o Brush the top with the egg yolk and prick the top evenly with a fork o Bake for 10 min in a pre-heated oven -180C o Lower to 150C and bake for another 30-40 min o Take out, sprinkle the top with cool water and wrap in a clean cotton cloth o Leave it wrapped for 15 min before serving
6. Bulgarian Easter Bread - KOZUNAK It's a slightly sweet yeast-raised bread with raisins or nuts that crosses the line between bread and coffee cake. Ingredients for the dough dry ingredients 7 or 8 cups (depends how big the eggs are) sifted flour 1/8 tsp. salt liquid ingredients 6 large eggs 1 and 1/3 cup white sugar yeast mixture 4 tsp. dry yeast 1 and 1/4 cup lukewarm milk 1 tsp. sugar additional 2/3 cup melted butter 2/3 cup vegetable oil 1 extra egg for brushing the crust before baking optional: 2-3 tbsp. lemon zest ( if you like it) or lemon flavour.
7. Blend the flour with the salt and 1 tbsp. vanilla. Make a well and add the eggs. Warm up the milk. Melt down the yeast in part of the lukewarm milk. Add the sugar in the rest of the milk and stir to dissolve it. Start making the sweet bread dough gradually adding the yeast, milk and sugar. Mix well until you get thick and sticky dough. Twist and knead the dough, as you slowly add the vegetable oil. The process requires some physical effort. Add the lemon zest and knead again until it is well blended. Place the dough in a large, coated with oil pot to rest and rise. Cover it with clean cloth. Once the dough has doubled its volume, turn it onto an oiled working surface and knead again. The purpose of it is to remove all the air bubbles from the dough, to assure nice and smooth bread texture. In the past, the women used to "beat" the dough 100 times, to make sure the kozunak bread bakes well. Once the dough is ready, split it into halves. Divide each half into 3 equally large dough balls. Knead in raisins, than twist and form long dough ribbons. Braid the dough ribbons and place them in coated with oil baking pan. Glaze the bread with egg yolk mixed with milk. Sprinkle it with sugar and let it rest and rise again. When it doubles its size, bake it at 180 C. After about 20 min. lower the temperature to 150C and bake for another 20 min. To make sure the bread is baked, gently poke it with a wooden stick. If it comes out dry, the sweet bread is done. You can add not only raisins, but also nuts, jams and anything else you like.
8. "Mekici" are favorite and traditional snack for every Bulgarian. We love them filled with cheese, but they’re very yummy with powdered sugar as well. Ingredients: 3 cups flour 1 egg 15g yeast 0.2 l milk 50 g sugar 1g salt oil for frying You mix the yeast with a little bit of warm water, 1/4 flour and the sugar and leave the mixture for 10 minutes. After that you add the egg, the milk, the salt and the rest of the flour. Make a thin sheet from the dough and cut circles, semi-circles or just different shapes form it with a glass. After that you deeply fry your "mekitsi" in a pan. Serve sprinkled with sugar!
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