(photo from www.cozonaculdolofan.ro)
Recently Sam made a new learning schedule for us to study the Romanian Language and the book of Acts, and we will probably write about it more in a future post. We wanted to make sure we actually follow the schedule and complete the assignments every week, so we came up with a way to motivate ourselves each week. If we complete the week’s schedule by Saturday night, we get to have a date on Sunday night.
This week we completed our assignments, so our date Sunday night was to bake cozonac together to give to friends and watch part of Mary Poppins, which was dubbed in Romanian!
Cozonac is a traditional Romanian dessert, sometimes called Christmas bread or Easter bread, but it is eaten all year-round. It is sold at many of the pastry shops that are everywhere, and after I had it for the first time I recognized its distinct smell as we passed by the pastry shops.
I found several recipes in Romanian, and this is the one we used. I got it from this blog, and here I have translated it into English and added the standard system measurements as well.
1 kilogram flour (8 cups)
300 g sugar (1 ½ cups) divided
10 g yeast (1 TBS)
200 ml warm milk (slightly over a cup)
2 tsp salt
100 g butter (7 TBS) melted
5 TBS oil
200 g walnuts (about 2 cups), ground finely
80 g raisins (1/2 cup)
5 TBS cocoa powder
2 tsp rum extract
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp orange extract
- Put all the flour in a large bowl and create a well in the center.
- Mix the warm milk, yeast, and about a tablespoon of sugar in the well and let it proof for about 10 minutes, or until it is all thick and bubbly.
- While the yeast is proofing separate the five eggs and set the whites aside for now
- When the yeast is done proofing, add the egg yolks, melted butter, oil, salt, and half of the sugar and mix very well. You will probably have to add 1-2 more cups of warm water to get everything mixed, but you don’t want soupy dough.
- This recipe does not require kneading, but to make sure everything is very well mixed you may have to knead it just a little.
- Separate the dough into four parts and cover with a damp towel and let it rest for one hour.
- While the dough is resting you can make the filling. Beat the egg whites until they are peaked, then add the ground walnuts, raisins, cocoa powder, flavorings, and the rest of the sugar
- After the dough is done resting roll out each piece one at a time into a large rectangle, spread a quarter of the filling on it, and roll it up
- After you have done this twice, twist two rolls together and put it in a grased loaf pan. This is one loaf of cozonac!
- Repeat this for the second loaf and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C (350 F) for 35-50 minutes (we baked ours much closer to 50 minutes)
- Let cool, slice, and enjoy!
~ Julie Peters