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Cozonac - Eastern European Sweet Bread Recipe

Updated on May 27, 2014

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Cozonac - A Romanian Sweet Bread Recipe

Cozonac is the name of a Romanian recipe of sweet bread. Cozonac is also known as kozunak in Bulgaria, kalacs in Hungaria, the Ukrainian babka, or a similar sweet bread the Italian panettone. This delicious Eastern European pastry is not missing from Romanians' and Bulgarians' Easter feast, but it is prepared throughout the year with other occasions as well.

Wikipedia's page about cozonac says that it was the pastry chosen to represent Romania in the Café Europe initiative.

Cozonac | Source
Cozonac section
Cozonac section | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hours 15 min
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: 2 loafs
Ingredients for Cozonac
Ingredients for Cozonac | Source


  • 250 ml milk
  • 230 gr sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • dash salt
  • 100 ml sunflower oil, canola can be used
  • 70-80 gr butter, unsalted
  • lemon rind, from 2 lemons
  • 810 gr flour, all purpose
  • 35 gr yeast, dried or fresh
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups finely ground walnuts
  • 5 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 vial rum flavor


  1. Put all the ingredients in the bread maker in the order listed. Liquids, and melting ingredients first, and then flour and yeast.
  2. On the bread maker choose the dough only program. If your machine does not have a dough only program, stop the machine before the baking starts.
  3. A great tip is to knead it twice, so the dough is more airy. To do this, when the kneading cycle stops, and the machines starts warming up to raise the dough, stop the machine, and start the program again. This time allow the machine to run the full program.
  4. Grease two pans with sunflower oil, or line them with parchment paper.
  5. While the dough is kneading and raising you can prepare the filling. Start by beating the egg whites with the pinch of salt, until the become stiff. When the egg whites are stiff start incorporating the sugar little by little, until all the sugar is fully incorporated. Then slowly add the vanilla and the rum flavor.
  6. Using a spoon or a spatula, add the cocoa and the walnuts in small portions until they get properly mixed.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. By now the dough should have already risen. Take it out of the bread machine pan, and divide it in 4 equal portions.
  9. Using a dough roller, make four equal sheets, a little longer than you pans. Since you are going to braid the dough, you need a few inches extra length.
  10. When you have your dough sheet ready, start spreading the filling, making sure you calculate it for the four sheets. Leave an inch at the edges so you can seal the roll. After the filling is spread, start rolling the dough.
  11. When you have two rolls, braid them in a rope, and then transfer them in the pans.
  12. Optional: Allow the dough to rise for another 30 - 60 minutes in a warm place, at about 150°F.
  13. Transfer the pans in the oven and bake for around 45 minutes.
  14. Your cozonac is ready. Let it cool off and take it out of the pan.

Maple French Rolling Pin

© 2014 Dorian


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