I never thought I would ever come home on a Friday night after a long day at work and bake bread. I certainly never thought I would ever come home on a Friday night after a long day at work and bake bread, hard boil eggs, then paint them and shove them in the bread. But I surprised myself, and last Friday night I did just that.
Cosmin had been out on the razz with his workmates that night and when he came home he was as pissed as a fart, ‘that is good b... did you make that? I will eat that what is it? I really like the smell of this thing…you laid golden eggs!’ I lured him away with left over stuffing from the peppers (пълнени чушки).
The eggs are perfectly edible (provided you don’t use toxic paint), but we had our egg fill with the яйца по Панагюрски so they were left untouched. Once the bread was gone we transferred them to a bowl which was swiftly swiped by my niece who decided to give one each to her stuffed penguins. Flipper, Flaps, Roadie (short for roadkill), the other one and the rest are proud to announce they are expecting, due in about two months.
I saw so many photos of this bread when conducting my research on Bulgaria, I had to make it. So what if it’s traditionally eaten at Easter and we ate it in November.
It is a really wet dough, but try to resist the urge to add more flour, it will come together and you will have the fluffiest bread imaginable. The more flour you add the tougher it gets …I don’t even flour the surface I knead it on.
- 320ml lukewarm milk
- 7g dried yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 50g butter melted and cooled until lukewarm
- 1 tsp salt
- 500g strong bread flour
- 7 (or more) hard boiled eggs decorated to your fancy
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER PORTION
- Calories | 344
- Fat | 7.5g
Serves | 7 portions
Prep Time | 1 hour 50 minutes (including proving time)
Cooking Time | 25 minutes
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the milk, cover and leave in a warm draft-free place for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
- In a large bowl mix together the flour and salt, make a well in the centre and pour in the milk/yeast mix together with the butter. Stir until it starts to come together then turn out on to a work surface and knead for ten minutes. You should have a nice smooth stretchy dough.
- Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm draft-free place for an hour until it has doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into three and roll each piece into a sausage about a metre in length. The dough will want to shrink, I countered this by swinging it very (very) gently to allow the weight of the dough to do some of the work.
- Plait (braid) the dough and bring the ends together to make a ring, tuck in the ends to make it nice and neat.
- Make four oven-proof egg-sized bundles by crumpling up tin foil and wrapping it in baking parchment.
- Gently ease each dummy egg into a section of the plait at even intervals.
- Cover and leave to rise in a warm draftt-free place for a further half an hour
- Preheat the oven to 250˚c and place a large pan of water at the bottom of the oven.
- When the dough has risen, place in the oven, immediately turning the temperature down to 220˚ Bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden and you can hear a hollow sound on tapping the base.
- To serve replace the dummy eggs with hard boiled and decorated eggs. Place additional eggs in the void at the centre of the ring.
Based on a recipe found at www.tialoto.bg