Sirnica (Croatian Easter bread) and some news…

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)

makes 4

1 kg (2 lb 3 ½ oz) bread flour

250 g (9 oz) cane sugar

1 ts salt

14 g (½ oz) instant yeast (50 g / 1 ¾ 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 ½ 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 ½ hours at room temperature or until grown 1 ½ times in size.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°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.

This post is submitted to Yeastspotting hosted by Zorra.

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17 Responses to Sirnica (Croatian Easter bread) and some news…

  1. bravo duÅ¡o…sirnica lipo izgleda…vidimo se u ponedijak…pusu momcima…mama i tata

  2. elra says:

    Wow Vienna, the baby, first day at school, you are going to be extremely busy. I wish you all good luck with all of those exciting thing that are going to happen soon.

    Your bread sounds really fabulous. Never had this before, it sounds really delicious with the ingredients of rakija (or grappa), rum and rose water, plus it also has my favorite orange and lemon zest. I like this bread already. I’ll bookmarking this, and hoping to make it in the near future.

    Happy easter to you and your family as well.



  3. oh this looks so nice! Delicious! Happy Easter!

  4. Rosa says:

    A beautiful bread!

    What great news! All the best with the relocation and baby!

    Happy Easter!



  5. Astrid says:

    Beautiful bread! And all the best for the big changes coming in your life. Welcome to the life of the expat wife! (Switzerland is not too far from Austria, if ever you come to Zurich let me know! Though I guess Vienna is pretty far.)

  6. Lien says:

    There is a lot going on, wow this will be hectic for all of you. New baby, 2 youngsters, 1 for his first schoolday… I don’t know how you do it all.

    I love your bread, it’s lovely to see a easter bread from another country!

  7. Hannah says:

    Lovely bread, and what exciting news! I hope your move goes well and you like your new surroundings. I for one would be happy to hear about lots of fruit salads, by the way. 🙂

  8. natalia says:

    Ciao Linda !Happy Easter to you ! Your bread looks so beautiful ! I guess you’ll need lots of energy ! I wish I could help you a bit with boxes ! It’s such a tiring thing to do !! Love

  9. Emilia says:

    The bread sounds and looks heavenly! I can’t get enough of breads like that, maybe it is a good thing I can’t eat breads with gluten in them 🙂

    I am very excited about your move to Vienna, I just absolutely love Vienna, it is probably the nicest city in middle Europe. I hope you all will like living there and will find a house soon. It must be hard to move with a new baby, I do wish you strength to get through so many new things in such a short period of time.

    Oh, and some posts about the baked goods Vienna has to offer would be much appreciated once you have the time for something like that 🙂

  10. ovenhaven says:

    The sirnica looks perfectly rustic! I love the addition of the coarse sugar on the top; gives it a goregous appearance.

    All the best with relocating, dearie! Vienna sounds beautiful 🙂 I wish you and your little ones all the best. And of course, best of luck with R’s school! It’s great that he’s very excited 🙂

  11. Vienna!! Glorious! . . . well yes I’m sure it will be a challenge as well but life is.

    This is magnificent bread!

    There is a place for fruit salad too.

  12. Ivonne says:


    Congratulations on the impending birth of your son! And on the move to Vienna … I envy you! You must tell me about every pastry shop that you visit!

  13. Jude says:

    Ooh grappa, rum, and rosewater in the bread? Sounds interesting!

  14. Sophie says:

    A sweet bread that resembles a cake in texture? I think I’ll have to eat the whole thing in one sitting ;). It sounds great, the ingredients are quite unique!

  15. siri says:

    What a complex and fascinating list of ingredients. I know very little about Croatian food, but now I’m a bit intrigued. The rosewater, citrus, and grappa make it sound extra nice.

    Thanks for sharing!


  16. Wow, the combination of flavorings sounds really delicious, and it looks beautiful too!

  17. courtney says:

    I love Vienna and have 2 uncles both maternal and paternal there. You will quite happy there baking wise. This is so exciting. The Easter bread sounds delicious and something that would appeal to me. I didnt know you were part Croatian.

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