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How to Make Cozonac Romanesc?
How to Make Cozonac Romanesc
The Cozonac Romanesc or Christmas cake is traditional Romanian sweet bread and is usually prepared during special holidays like Easter, Christmas, New Year, and Pentecost. This sweet bread is added with milk, sugar, butter, raisins, and eggs to make it more tasty and filling. However, throughout the whole of Romania, the recipes differ. The different regions of Romania sometimes have different Cozonac recipes. This means that they differ in the filling or on the added ingredients to the dough, but the recipe for the dough itself remains constant throughout the country. However, there is always a standout or a more known recipe amongst the many other Cozonac recipes. So, here is the more known Cozonac recipe and an instruction on how to make Cozonac Romanesc.
- 2 1/8 cup milk
- 4 tbsp + 1 tsp yeast
- 4 1/3 cups wheat flour
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 4 whole eggs
- 4 eggs, separated, reserve yolks and whites
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp rum
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup butter. melted
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup butter for greasing pans
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- Take 1 1/8 cup of milk and heat it on the stove top or in the microwavve to 100 to 115 degrees; it is essential the milk does not get any hotter or it can kill the yeast, so you must use a thermometer to check the temperature. Add the yeast to the milk, mix and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast is bubbling and frothy.
- Add the milk to approximately 2/3 of the flour to incorporate them; mix well into a doughy consistency. Set the dough aside to rise for 30 minutes in a warm room temperature spot.
- Meanwhile, grate the lemon rinds and orange rinds.
- place the remaining milk, sugar, rum, salt, whole eggs + 4 egg yolks into a double boiler. Mix well. When warm, add vanilla and grated rinds. Heat thoroughly.
- After the dough has risen, pour mixture over the dough and knead for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle remaining flour over your hands and on your dough as you go.
- Whip remaining 4 egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the dough and continue kneading for 10 minutes.
- Spread the dough out into a roughly rectangular shape.Pour roughly half the melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle over the dough the raisins and walnuts.
- Twist the dough to create the spiral twisted design, to secure the nuts and raisins inside. Place it on a tray and let it rise until doubled in size.
- Prepare two bread pans by greasing them with butter. Sprinkle about 1/2 the caster sugar around into the greased pans.
- When the loaves have doubled, cut them in half, into two loaves. Place one loaf in each bread pan. Allow them to continue to rise until each loavve is 3/4 to the top of the bread pan.
- Brush the loaves with the remaining melted butter. Sprinkle with the remaining caster sugar.
- Place each half on separate loaf tins and make sure that they only fill half of the tin. Let is rise to ¾ to the top of the tin before you spread butter on top of each loaf. Once done, sprinkle some more crushed sugar cubes on top of each loaf.
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Place the bread pans in the oven and bake until the top of the bread is a nice, golden-brown color. This can take around 50 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool a bit, but you may serve it warm or room temperature.
A Cozonac can have a variety of filling and therefore can have a variety of taste. Some of the flavors can be tweaked to suit your preference-- if you do not like walnuts you might use poppy seeds or almonds. If you do not like raisins you can use dried apricots, prunes, dried candied cherries or other fruits. You can experiment on the ingredients you will use and the kind of taste that you want to deliver.