Bulgarian Easter Bread
Bulgarian Easter Bread is filled with the sweet and scrumptious flavors of lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and rum soaked raisins. This recipe is sure to be a hot at you Easter feast this year! Serve this recipe slathered in butter or cream cheese, and add a drizzle of orange blossom honey for an added flavor booster.
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup butter, softened, 1/2 stick
- 5 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 teaspoons yeast
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup rum or enough to cover the raisins
- 3/4 cup whole almonds, optional
Preparation time 150mins
Cooking time 175mins
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, yeast, vanilla, salt, sugar, flour, butter, the 2 eggs, and the milk to your bread machine, in the order specified by the manufacturer.
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 braid-able 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°F.
Bake for 20 minutes, glaze with sugar water (1/4 cup 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.