Cozonac Cu Nuca
Yield 1 loaf
- 1 + ¼ cups milk (set aside the ¼ cup for the yeast mixture)
- 4 ½ cups white flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 oz butter (at room temperature)
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tsp dry active yeast
- ¼ tbsp sugar
- 1 beaten egg for brushing the top of the loaves
- ½ cup milk
- 7 oz finely ground walnuts
- 3 oz sugar
- 1 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
Step 1: Preparing the dough
- Mix butter, milk (save 1/4 cup of milk) and sugar in a saucepan and place it over medium heat until butter is melted. Let it cool until just warm.
- Now add the beaten eggs and lemon zest.
- Put the sugar and yeast in a bowl and mix it with the (warmed) reserved milk. Mix well and allow to stand for a few minutes.
- Put the white flour into a bowl and sprinkle the salt on top. Then pour the yeast mixture over as well as the milk and eggs mixture and mix well into the flour.
- Get kneading! You’ll need to knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it’s no longer sticking to your hands.
- Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel or some foil.
- Leave it in a warm place to rise until it's doubled in size. This should take about an hour.
Step 2: Preparing the walnut filling
- Heat the milk and sugar over a medium heat.
- Add the ground walnuts and stir for 10 minutes, until mixture is thickened.
- Remove from the heat and add cocoa and lemon zest. Set aside and let it cool.
Step 3: Constructing the loaf
- Cut the ball of dough in half.
- Roll each ball out onto a floured flat surface to make a long oval-rectangular shape.
- Spread the walnut mix over the dough, evenly, keeping away from the edges.
- Roll the dough into a tube along its longer edge.
- Take both tubes, pinch them together at their ends and roll them into a double spiral, one around the other.
- Place in a pre-oiled and floured loaf tin.
- Leave the dough to rise in the tin for another hour. During this time it will expand to fit the tin and will look more like a loaf.
- Brush the top of the loaf with a beaten egg.
- Bake for in a preheated oven (350F) for 40-45 minutes or until golden on top.
- When the cozonac has cooled a little, remove it from the tin and allow to cool completely, preferably for several hours.
Recipe by Arousing Appetites: Home to the Serious Cook at https://blog.arousingappetites.com/cozonac-cu-nuca-romanian-christmas-bread/