I ate so many of them and I am always looking forward to make one, especially during Easter Holidays – My very favourite Orthodox Cake.
This is a very traditional Bulgarian Easter Cake called Козунак, served after Holy Saturday’s Celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. It has been traditionally served with red boiled eggs and plain yogurt.
There are many variations of Козунак: plain, with candied fruits, chocolate, figs or nuts. My very favourite comes with walnuts, almonds and raisins. The Best Easter Breakfast, let’s start.
Note that this awesome treat is suitable for kids 2 plus because of a possible egg white intolerance. A slice of the cake makes a perfect baby breakfast or afternoon’s meal.
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes + 2 hours of rising the dough
4 whole eggs + 1 egg white, 1 egg yolk for brushing
200 ml of lukewarm milk
150g of caster superfine sugar
1 package of vanilla sugar + extra for the topping
125g of butter, melted
1kg of plain flour, sifted
A pinch of sea salt
20g of fresh yeast
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
100g of mix of raisins, walnuts and peeled almonds
First, active the yeast. Sprinkle the yeast into a cup filled with lukewarm milk. Add 1 teaspoon of caster sugar. Let it work for about 30 minutes in a warm place until it rises and becomes bubbly.
In a large and wide mixing bowl place flour and salt. Add lemon zest and create a well in the middle.
Next, eggs in (4 whole eggs + 1 egg white), half of the milk with activated yeast, one part of melted butter.
Add the sugar and start kneading the dough with hands, moving from the outside to the inside.
Slowly add remaining butter, raisins and milk (if necessary).
Continue kneading until very homogeneous, non sticky and kind of bready texture.
Dust with some extra flour and let it rise for at least 1,5 hour in a warm place. Cover with a clean cloth.
After it rises just enough to continue, preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
Knead the dough some more and braid 3 equal rolls (strands).
Place the cake into a lightly greased tin (I used springform of 25cm) and let it rest in a room temperature around 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, stick on top of the cake some walnuts and almonds.
Brush with egg yolk and bake it in the oven for about 1 hour until the wooden stick comes clean from the highest parts.
If the cake is getting too golden, cover it with aluminium foil.
Few minutes before you take it out of the oven, sprinkle with a good amount of vanilla sugar.
Take the cake out and let it cool down entirely.
Serve with some good layer of butter. Yummy!
Makes 12 serves.