ROUND LOAVES AND RITUAL BREADS IN THE BULGARIAN CUISINE

BATHED ROUND LOAF|HONEYED ROUND LOAF|SMALL FLAT LOAVES WITH CHEESE| PLAITED BREAD


There is no single festival in the Bulgarian folk tradition that can be celebrated without making ritual bread. Ritual bread is distinguished from ordinary bread in its form, mode of preparation and decorative elements. Nowadays the Bulgarian people are not accustomed to preparing ritual breads in their everyday life, but making round loaves is still a widespread practice throughout the country.

Here follow several recipes for preparing round loaves that you could use on occasions of religious or official holidays.



 
BATHED ROUND LOAF 
Ingredients
  • 500 g flour 
  • 10 g yeast 
  • 1 tea cupful fresh milk 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoonful sugar 
  • 1 spoonful vegetable oil 
  • salt to taste 
Directions:
    Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of tepid water and let it rise. Mix the flour, the milk, the egg whites, the vegetable oil, the sugar and the salt and then add the yeast. Shape a ball of the soft dough thus produced. Wrap it in a cheese-cloth and soak it in a large vessel full of water.

    Take it out when it comes to float. Spread it in a baking dish buttered beforehand. Punch the loaf with a fork several times and spread the egg yolk on top.

    Bake it on a medium oven. After taking the bread out, cover it with a moist cloth in order to prevent its crust from getting too hard.



 
HONEYED ROUND LOAF
Ingredients
  • 1 kg flour 
  • 1 spoonful salt 
  •  honey 
Directions:
    Mix the flour with the salt and some tepid water to work up a smooth and elastic dough.

    Spread it in a thin layer of 2-3 cm on a buttered baking dish.

    Perforate it with a fork and bake it in a previously heated oven. When it gets ready, spread an abundant amount of honey on the loaf.




 
SMALL FLAT LOAVES WITH CHEESE
Ingredients
  • 1 kg flour 
  • 3 tea cupfuls crumbled cheese 
  • 500 g yoghourt 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 100 g butter 
  • 1 teaspoonful baking soda 
Directions:
    Add the eggs, the cheese and the yoghourt - in which the baking soda has been dissolved - to the flour.

    Knead the mess and then divide it into 15 balls.

    Make a flat loaf of each ball, shape a hole in its middle and put a small pat of butter in it.

    Arrange the loaves in an oiled tin and bake them on a medium oven.



 
PLAITED BREAD 
Ingredients
  • 1 kg flour 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 spoonful sugar 
  • 60 g butter 
  • 1 spoonful yeast 
  • salt to taste 
Directions:
    Put the flour in a large baking tin, add the yeast dissolved in a little bit of water, the eggs (without one of the yolks which is used for spreading on the bread), water and some salt. Knead the mess and divide the dough into three pieces.

    Spread, butter and roll up each one of them.

    Plait the three rolls and then shape them into a circle on the bottom of a buttered baking dish. Let the scroll rise.

    Spread the reserved yolk on the plaited bread and bake on medium oven.

     

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SOURCES OF REFERENCE:
1.  Marinov, D.  Folk Beliefs and Religious Folk Customs, 1981. (In Bulg.)
2.  Yaneva, S. Varieties of Bulgarian Ritual Bread, 1989. (In Bulg.)
3.  Petrov, L., E. Yordanov, S. Ouzounova, N. Dzhelepov. National Bulgarian Cuisine, 1984. (In Bulg.)

 


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