Welcome to another beautiful post from a very talented friend of mine. I think I need to feature my friends more often. Today’s special guest is Roxana from Roxana’s Home Baking!
Hello! My name is Roxana and I’m the baker, writer and photographer behind Roxana’s Home Baking. And as much as I hate it, I’m doing the dishes as well. My family, friends and neighbors are my trusty taste-testers.
I’m happy to be here, on Lora’s blog. I’ve meet Lora when I start blogging and it was our love for baking that sealed out friendship. I love Lora and she’s an amazing baker. She’s so creative in the kitchen and one of the most supportive bloggers I know.
When Lora asked me to share a traditional Romanian bread on her blog I knew exactly what I want to make. “Cozonac” very similar with the Italian Panettone, is the traditional Holiday bread. I have lots of memories with my mom baking 6-8 loaves of bread the day before Christmas.
She’d sift the flour the night before and place the big wooden bowl on top of the terracotta heater. In the morning she’d start the fire in the wooden oven and while the oven got hot enough she’d start the bread dough. When all the ingredients were added the kneading part would begin. She would pull the dough and then throw it back in the mixing bowl. I remember her voice every time we’d ask “why are you beating the dough?” – “the more I slap it, the fluffier the bread will be“. Oh, and it was. We could not wait for her to take the bread loaves out of the oven. One loaf would be gone before you had time to count to 5. Tongue burns? Oh yeah, but not even those could stop us from tearing another bread piece and eat it like there was no tomorrow.
Even tho I haven’t spent Christmas back in Romania in years I still crave the Romanian bread when the holidays are getting closer.
The recipe below is translated and adapted form a recipe passed from generations to generations. I hope in 20-30 years from now my daughter will bake some for her family as well
Romanian Swirl Bread
6 oz (168 grams) bread flour (I used King Arthur Flour)
1 cup (240 ml) boiling milk (I used 1%)
3 tsp dry yeast
6 egg yolks
1 tsp salt
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) lukewarm milk
1/2 cup (113 grams) melted and cooled butter
5 cups (600 grams) bread flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) grapeseed oil
1 1/2 cups dried fruit/chocolate chips/Turkish delight/nuts – whatever you want to fill the bread with
Directions: In a mixing bowl add the 6 oz bread flour. Pour the boiling milk over it and whisk until well combined. Leave at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes until lukewarm.
Add the dry yeast and mix until combined. Cover and leave again at room temperature until it’s almost doubled in volume (should take about 15-20 minutes)
In the meantime mix the egg yolks with the salt and sugar. Slowly pour the lukewarm milk and melted butter (make sure the milk not the butter are hot or the egg yolks might scramble)
When the flour-yeast mixture has almost doubled, with the dough hook attachment on start mixing slowly adding the wet ingredients mixture.
Now slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, add the remaining 5 cups of flour. When all the flour is incorporated increase the mixer speed and slowly pour the 1/4 cup grapeseed oil.
The dough might seem like a sticky mess at this point but keep mixing until the dough wraps around the hook and it slaps the sides of the mixing bowl.
The dough will still be slightly sticky and will not clean itself completely from the sides of the bowl.
With oiled hands, remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place it into a clean greased bowl. Cover with plastic foil and leave at room temperature until doubled in volume (about 1 hour or so). Punch down the dough and leave to rise again for another 35-40 minutes.
Divide the dough in 3 and onto a lightly floured surface roll each ball into a 15X9 inch rectangle. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the filling and roll it on the short side. Place the swirled bread into a greased 9X5 inch loaf pan.
Do the same with the remaining 2 dough balls.
Cover the pans and leave to rise again for another 35-40 minutes.
In the meantime heat the oven to 375F.
Place the loaf pans in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the smell of fresh baked bread takes over your kitchen. As soon as you remove the bread from the oven brush it with melted butter (optional)
Leave to cool for 25-20 minutes in the pan before removing.
Thank you, Roxana, for sharing this beautiful Romanian Swirl Bread.