Sunday, December 2

Pofta Mare & Cozonac

Happy Romanian Independence Day!*
[*technically, it was on the 1st, but I took longer than expected to post, happy belated!]


I'm not Romanian (that I know of anyways...).  Neither is Kevin.  Rudder, well he's English.  However, our good friends, the Popovich's are!  So, we were invited over to celebrate.  :o)

Had some super delicious food to include Romanian staples like Mici (kinda like meatballs and made with beef, pork, and lamb), A La Rousse (or something similar) salad, and bread.  We also had amazing smoked salmon dip and a delicious cilantro'y quinoa salad.  There was also gingerbread cookies, Ovi's amazing angel food-meets-custard-meets-fresh fruit-meets-whipped cream cake! Oh, and I finally tried Tsuica.  Wow.  That can be checked off the list and declined from here on out.  :op

Rudder dressed up for the occasion.

As you can see from the blur, the hat stayed on for a nanosecond.
Kevin did some google research and found this recipe for Cozonac on  I'd see breads like this before, but had never attempted one.  Sounded pretty good though, so we went for it.

We made minor adaption to the linked recipe including adding orange zest to the dough, and some chopped dark chocolate to the filling.  I also halved the recipe, which ended up making one good size loaf.

Kind of intensive bread to make, not super difficult, just more time intensive.  I kneaded the dough by hand for 35 minutes and let it rise overnight.  You end up splitting the dough in half, then pressing out two rectangles by hand (12"x16"'ish).  Then a nice light layer of the filling stuff goes on, and ya roll it up like you're making cinnamon rolls! [which reminds me, I have a cinnamon roll recipe to share...]

Then, the brand new part for me.  Take each rolled up rope, and twist them together, then tuck the ends.  I liked this part.  :o)  

Let it rise again about 1 hour, brush on beat egg, sprinkle on some sugar*, then bake @ 350* for 50-55 minutes in a butter greased loaf pan.

*If you get your hands a bit wet before you sprinkle the sugar on, it'll help make sugar "clumps" like you can see in the top picture.

I love love love the swirls!  I have a feeling I'm going to be doing some experimentation with dough flavor and the innards...

 Ah, swirls.  Look so fancy, but you're really not as tricky as you made me believe.  :o)

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