This rich and sweet bread is baked for Easter in Croatia. Funny enough I’ve never eaten this bread before, even though I’m half Croatian. I guess it’s because I’ve never been in Croatia during Easter. There are lots of variations on this bread and I made my own recipe mixing and matching from several recipes and then preparing it the way I thought it should. All the recipes I looked at were in Croatian and my Croatian isn’t that good, especially not when technical baking stuff is described 😉
What I did was just mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Mix the liquid ingredients in another bowl and add this to the dry mix. Worked for me 🙂 I guess ‘real’ yeast bakers would have done it differently and not melt the butter. But hey, I’m not a ‘real’ yeast baker 😀
I let the dough proof in the fridge overnight (about 14 hours). I cut the dough in four and shaped the pieces into balls. They looked like balls but by the time they did a second proofing the shape they had after I cut them reappeared. So in the end they weren’t as round as I liked.
The dough itself already smelled like heaven, during baking it smelled even better…YUM! And the taste was very, Very, VERY good! More of a cake than a bread. It took me 36 years to finally eat this typical Croatian Easter bread but I know I will be making it every year for Easter from now on. Beats the traditional Easter stollen we have in the Netherlands (not that I’ve ever made that myself).
My mum and dad will be here on Monday, see how my father reacts to the sirnica…
Oh yes I had some news too 🙂 As of the beginning of July we will be relocating to Vienna, Austria for a period of 4 years. We’re all looking forward to that! So we have some busy times ahead. First son number 3 will be born (my due date is May 21st) and soon after we’ll leave for Vienna. We’ll be living in an appartment hotel until we find something more permanent so unfortunately I won’t be doing a lot of baking as my stuff will still be in boxes waiting for us to move to a real house. So maybe I should post a lot about fruit salads 😉
My eldest son R who is nearly 4 is really exited about the whole thing. Besides the move it will also be the first time he will be going to school. I don’t know who is more excited about him going to school, him or me 😉
Oh yes, Happy Easter to those celebrating!
Sirnica (Croatian Easter bread)
1 kg (2 lb 3 Â½ oz) bread flour
250 g (9 oz) cane sugar
1 ts salt
14 g (Â½ oz) instant yeast (50 g / 1 Â¾ oz fresh yeast)
250 g (9 oz) butter, melted and cooled (but still liquid)
2 tbs rakija (or grappa)
2 tbs dark rum
1 tbs rosewater
1 tbs vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
8 egg yolks
400 ml (13 Â½ fl oz) milk, room temperature
1 egg, mixed with a little water
coarse (cane) sugar
Mix the flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast in a large bowl.
Mix the butter, rakija, rum, rosewater, vanilla extract, orange and lemon zest, egg yolks and milk together.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until mixed as good as you can. Continue mixing by hand until all the flour is incorporated. Take the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour as needed so that the dough won’t be very sticky.
Lightly oil a large bowl (large enough to hold the dough and have room for it to double in size). Put the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof in the fridge overnight.
Take the dough out of the bowl and press on it to release part of the gas. Cut the dough in 4 equal parts. Shape each part into a ball. Place the balls on a large baking tray or sheet that is covered with baking paper. Put the baking tray in a large plastic bag and allow the shaped dough to proof for another 2 Â½ hours at room temperature or until grown 1 Â½ times in size.
Preheat the oven to 180Â°C (350Â°F).
Cut the top of the dough balls with a cross using a very sharp serrated knife. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle some coarse sugar on top.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes.
Allow the breads to cool on wire racks.