Traditional Bulgarian Kozunak Sweet Easter Bread Recipe

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 6 large eggs, divided
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Dissolve yeast and sugar (using only 1 cup of the white sugar) with warm milk in medium mixing bowl.  Add oil and 1 cup flour. Leave to rise in warm place for approximately 30 minutes.  Sift flour in large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Stir into well yeast mixture, 5 well beaten eggs, salt, lemon zest and vanilla. Then knead well. Let rise for 1 more hour in a warm place. Beat down, add raisins, kneed slightly and let rise for another hour.

Divide dough in half.  Divide each half into 3 pieces and braid together. Place on a well greased baking sheet.  Let rise until doubled in size.  Brush with egg yolk wash.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds and remaining sugar.  Bake at 375-400F for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 2 large loaves.

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