Easter bread – a classic recipe



  • a big baking tin
  • 1kg of flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 200g of fat of your choice (lard, butter, etc.)
  • 300g sugar
  • 250g milk
  • yeast
  • vanilla extract
  • grated lemon peel (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon of rum(optional)
  • raisins, nuts, jam, etc
Ingredients for the preparation of Kozounak, Dragoevo / ©Alice de Villeblanche


Sift the flour in a deep dish.

In a separate bowl, using a mixer mix the eggs with the sugar and add a tablespoon of rum (optional) and the grated lemon peel.

Heat up the milk a very little bit (as much as or a little bit above body temperature; you can test the temperature by dipping your finger in it). After you’ve got the milk to the right temperature, add to it the yeast, a pinch of salt, and 1 tbs. of sugar and a tbs. of flour. Let that sit on the side for a few minutes. It is very important that the milk isn’t too hot or the yeast won’t work.

In the deep dish with the flour, add the mixed eggs and the milk. Start mixing the dough. Mix thoroughly until you get a homogeneous mixture. Don’t worry if you get lumps, it is normal and just keep mixing. Depending on the flour you are using and the size of the eggs, you may not have enough flour or you may have some leftovers. The dough should be soft, easy to mix, but not stick firmly to the fingers. If you do not have enough flour, just add as much as you need. Once mixed, the dough is removed from the container and placed on a table. The proper way to make dough for kozunak is to throw it with force onto a table. When you have the dough shaped like a ball, you have to smash it on the table about 100 times.

Melt the butter.

Flatten the dough on the table with a rolling pin and spread butter over it. Fold it a few times, flatten it again, and spread butter over it. Keep doing this until you run out of butter. The purpose of this exercise is to get lots of layers in the dough so that we can get the classic kozunak dough that tears like threads.

Leave the dough in a warm place to rise. Once it has doubled its size, it is time to proceed to the shaping.

You can get creative here and shape the dough as you please. Add jam of your choice and decorate with nuts and raisins.

Preheat the oven to about 180 C but don’t go above that.

Bake for about 40 min. It’s important not to get the oven too hot and not to bake the kozunak too fast. The baking should take at least 40 min. The best way to test if the kozunak is completely done is to poke it with a small stick like a skewer. If the stick comes out dry then the kozunak is ready, if it comes out with bits of dough stuck on it you need to keep baking it.

Preparation of the Easter bread Kozounak in a Bulgarian family, Dragoevo / ©Alice de Villeblanche
Kozunak, Dragoevo / ©Alice de Villeblanche