Vit Kozunak ( Easter Bread with filling)

It’s this time of the year again, the aroma of freshly baked the Easter breads, lemon and nuts is in the air.
This year I decided to try different recipes than the usual ones and I hope you like what I have to show you in the next 3 days before Easter. The first recipe I called ” Vit kozunak” ( Easter bread with a swirl shape) and it’s a combination of 2 things. The recipe is a version of the Easter bread recipe from 2010, the shape was inspired by this post of a very talented lady, called Mina. I know, that my shape is a little different, but I wanted to make a “braid” that is open on top and this is what I came up with.

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– for the dough
 4 cups sifted flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp dry yeast
 3 large eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup room temperature milk2/3 cup melted butter
lemon zest of one whole lemon
1 extra egg white for brushing the crust before baking

– for the filling
1 jar of jam ( strawberry in my case)
1/2 cup of crushed walnuts
4 tbsp poppy seed
4 tbsp bread crumbs



1. Preheat the oven at 350F( I use it to warm up the room at first too!).


If making with a mixer ( make sure you have a dough paddle)

2. Mix with a mixer on high speed the eggs and sugar until creamy. Add the milk and half of the butter.
3. Sift the dry ingredients together( flour , yeast and salt) and gradually add them to the liquid mixture in the mixer. Add the butter and lemon zest and knead for 5 minutes in the mixer.

4. Grease the mixer bowl with oil and place the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm room.    Continue to step 5.

If using a bread machine
2. Place the liquid ingredients first, then add the dry ingredients and yeast on top. Start the dough program on your machine.  Use the kneading phase of your dough program 2 times in a row or if you have Pizza dough option, run it once after you run the whole regular dough program.
3. When all of the flour is incorporated well, add gradually the rest of the butter and lemon zest.
4.  Let the dough rise in the machine.   Continue to step 5. 
If kneading by hand
2. Place the dry ingredients( flour, salt, yeast) in the container where your are going to knead. Make a “hole” in the middle of the dry ingredients  then add the the liquid ingredients in it. Start mixing them together as you gradually take some of the dry ingredients on the side.
3.After the dough is shaped, gradually add the butter while kneading ( you have to just grease your hands and knead). Knead at least 40 minutes! The longer, the better! 
4.  When the dough is ready, grease the container in which the dough will rise, place the dough in it and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place to rise. Continue to step 5.
5. While the dough is rising, mix your filling ingredients together. After the dough is ready, roll it as a loaf of bread and divide in half.

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6. Roll out each piece a sheet of dough and spread the filling in the middle as shown in the pictures. Roll the sheet in a roll and set aside. Repeat with the other piece of dough

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7.Take a sharp knife and cut each roll lengthwise on top, so you can see the filling.

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Easter breads 201101

8. Braid the two rolls together as shown in the picture above and place on a flat cookie sheet. Set it aside and let it rise.

9. When the Easter bread rises, brush egg white on top ( where there is no filling) and sprinkle with sugar. 
10. Bake for 40  minutes on 350 F or until ready. 



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** I made this recipe for my son’s school and it was very convenient, because it’s long and not that tall, so you can cut many pieces when you are having a party for example.