Sweet Bread

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Sweet Bread

Cozonac or Kozunak is a special sweet leavened bread, traditional to Southeastern Europe, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, etc. Rich in eggs, milk and butter, it is usually prepared for Easter in Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, and mostly for every major holiday(Christmas, Easter, New Year's Day) in Romania and Moldova. The name comes from the Greek word for hair-коса/kosa, or Greek: ϰοσωνάϰι kosōnáki, a diminutive form of ϰοσώνα kosṓna.
At the origin of the cake is bread, and leavening and baking techniques have evolved over time. Yeast has been used since ancient times as a leaven for leavening. According to archeological discoveries, there were baking ovens in ancient Egypt. There are also drawings dating back almost4,000 years that show that the Egyptians knew how to make many kinds of leavened bread, some of which were sweetened with honey.
In ancient times, the Greeks made a type of cake sweetened with honey and sprinkled with nuts, which was called "plakous". According to sources, Chrysippus of Tyana mentioned a recipe for cake with nuts and honey, which he also mentioned, he tasted in Crete.
The Romans, who took over the use of yeast from the Egyptians and Greeks, diversified and enriched the recipe for cakes, adding, for example, eggs, butter, dried fruit. In the beginning there were two kinds of cake that were offered as an offering to the gods: "libum", a smaller cake and "placenta", a cake with cheese, raisins and hazelnuts.
In Great Britain, the first cake recipe appeared in a cookbook in 1718, with the recommendation to be baked in long and narrow shapes, a recommendation that has remained valid today. In fourteenth-century England, Geoffrey Chaucer mentions, in Canterbury Stories, huge cakes made for special occasions. One of the cake-shaped cakes had been made from 13 kilograms of flour and contained butter, cream, eggs, spices, raisins, and honey.
The French, who in the nineteenth century added the third course to the table, the "dessert", are the ones who valued the cake more than others. Marie Antoinette was remembered by people when she was told that people do not even have bread on the table because of poverty. The future queen of France would have said: "Eat cake, if they have no bread." Mrs. Mary Eales, a well-known British cookbook author, wrote in1718, recommending that this dish be baked into longer and thinner forms. The classic shape of the cake dates back to that time.
PREP TIME 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine European, Romanian
Servings 12
Calories 575 kcal

Ingredients
  

Leaven

  • 100 g flour
  • 350 ml milk
  • 14 g dry yeast
  • 50 g sugar

Sweet Bread

  • 900 g flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • 150 g softened butter
  • 50 ml sunflower oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract

Filling

  • 800 g roasted almonds
  • 350 g chocolate spread

Instructions
 

Leaven

  • In a bowl mix warm milk with dry yeast. Add the sugar, flour and mix until you get a homogenous composition.
  • Let the leaven in a warm place for 10-15 minutes.

Sweet bread

  • In a bowl add the eggs, extracts and sugar and mix until it gets foamy.
  • Add the leaven and flour over the eggs mixture and start kneading. You can use a food processor or you can knead by hands. If you knead by hand you have to knead a little bit more.
  • Add the oil, knead, start to add the butter gradually and knead for about 20 minutes. At this stage, the gluten network is developed from the flour, ie the threads are formed, giving elasticity to the dough.
  • Put the dough in a bowl greased with oil and leave it to rise for 40-60 minutes, or until it doubles in volume.

Filling

  • For filling mix the fine chopped almonds with the chocolate spread until you get a homogenous composition.

Assembly

  • Divide the dough in 4 equal parts (weight every part).
  • We take a piece of dough and roll it out into a rectangle. Put a quarter of the filling and roll the dough. Do the same for each of the 4 pieces of dough. We take 2 pieces and weave them together without squeezing them hard.
  • We take 2 pieces and weave them together without squeezing them too hard. Put the cakes in the trays lined with baking paper and leave them to rise for another 20-30 minutes.
  • Grease each cake with beaten egg and then put them in the preheated oven at 180 degrees for 50-60 minutes. After the first 20-25 minutes, cover the cakes with baking paper so that they do not burn.
  • After the sweet breads are baked, take them out of the oven and let cool completely before removing them from the trays.

Notes

Keyword chocolate christmas dessert, christmas cake, christmas dessert, christmas recipe, dessert, dessert recipe, easy dessert
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