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Bulgarian Easter Bread (Kozunak), for Bread Machine

I've been experimenting with my 2 lb bread machine to see if it can do the hard part in making kozunak, since it's so delicious, but a LOT of work. After much trial and error, this is what I came up with. The original recipe, from my Bulgarian mother-in-law, is posted separately.

Ready In:
2hrs 50mins
Yields:
Units:

ingredients

  • 34 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 14 cup butter, softened (1/2 stick)
  • 5 cups flour
  • 34 cup sugar
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 34 cup raisins
  • 12 cup rum (or enough to cover the raisins)
  • 34 cup whole almond (optional)

directions

  • Set the raisins to soak in the rum; I put them in a mug. I sometimes microwave 30 seconds to speed the process.
  • Zest the lemon. Coarser is preferable, although I'm not about to give up my microplane.
  • Juice HALF of the lemon.
  • Add the zest, the juice of half the lemon, and all other ingredients (EXCEPT the raisins, rum, and nuts) to your bread machine, in the order specified by the manufacturer. I worried about the lemon juice curdling the milk, but it seems to work ok.
  • Run the dough cycle on the bread machine. Add the drained raisins when it is time to include the add-ins. If your dough cycle has no add-in part of the cycle, do not add the raisins; work them into the dough later.
  • Remove the dough and divide into two parts. For each part, divide in three; roll out into braidable strands and braid. If you didn't add the raisins earlier, work them into the dough and between the strands as you braid.
  • Stud the two loaves with almonds.
  • Let rise on a greased baking sheet in a warm place until about doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375.
  • I bake for 20 minutes, glaze with sugar water (1/4 c sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water), and bake 5 minutes more. You may prefer an egg glaze or something else. the total baking time should be about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the loaf is cooked through.
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@Mymble
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@Mymble
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"I've been experimenting with my 2 lb bread machine to see if it can do the hard part in making kozunak, since it's so delicious, but a LOT of work. After much trial and error, this is what I came up with. The original recipe, from my Bulgarian mother-in-law, is posted separately."
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  1. Jack A.
    My first kozunak and boy did it look professional. Loved the ease of making such an ancient complicated bread.
    Reply
  2. Jack A.
    I made the dough in my Cuisinart bread machine. I then removed the basket leaving the dough. Plastic wrapped it and left it in the fridge overnight. The next day at 10 am I transferred the dough to a bowl and proofed it (my range has a proof mode which is 85 degrees f) for about an hour. Also place a pan in the rack below and filling it with 2 cups of boiledwater The dough softened and awakened. I then rolled it and braided it proofed again with fresh boiled water and it took a few hours but doubled in size and looked just beautiful!
    Reply
  3. cookin mimi
    OH, Yes, this was good!! I had lots of out-of-town company this Easter, and needed something quick and tasty to eat after sunrise service. This was a really good and pretty bread, great with butter I'll make this again.
    Reply
  4. aidanfam
    Yum!!! I was invited to a potluck with a Balkan theme, and didn't know where to start! This bread was a hit. Both taste and presentation were 5 stars. And since it so easily mixed up in the bread machine, I will definitely try this again. It's a keeper!
    Reply
  5. Beti330
    I made your Kozunak for Easter this year and it was awesome!! My Bulgian husband and friends were all very impressed.
    Reply
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