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Romanian Sweet Bread aka Cozonaci Traditionali

What you need:

Your kitchen to be heated. The more warm the room, the better.

All ingredients must be at room temperature - very important.


1kg flour type 000 (must be dry)

one egg

10 egg yolks

one orange and one lemon (peel)

250g-300g sugar

14g of dried yeast

150g melted unsalted butter

50ml olive oil

one spoon of lard (optional)

350-400ml whole warm milk (depending on the flour)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

a half of a teaspoon of salt

a toothpick or wood chopstick


400g ground walnuts

75g of cocoa

150g of sugar

30ml of rum or one tablespoon of extract of rum

about 6-7 egg whites

How it's made:

We seaparate egg yolks. We pour a half of a teaspoon of salt over yolks. We stir them just to untie the yolks and to mix them with the salt. That way the color of the yolks will be more intense and our sweet bread will have a beautifull yellow color.

In a separate container we add a tablespoon of sugar over the yeast. We pour some milk and stir to mix everything well.

We pour the yeast composition over the flour, then add the sugar, lemon and orange peel, egg yolks and vanilla extract. We also pour the milk and we start to mix it all. We then add one spoon of lard and we knead.

Over the melted butter we pour the olive oil. Then gradually add it over the mix while kneading. It's good to knead at least one hour. I know... Then take the dough, fold it and slam it over the table 20 times. We give it a round shape, cover the dough with plastic foil or a towel and leave it in a warm place to grow. After 30 minutes we knead it again for 5 minutes. We cover it again and leave it to grow.

For the filling:

I put 400g ground walnuts in the owen at 160 Celsius for 15 minutes. This gives them a rich flavour but the traditional recipe is skipping this step. We medium grind all the walnuts.

We add cocoa and sugar over the ground walnuts. We stir everything a little bit. We pour the rum and egg whites and stir until everything is mixed. We divide the cream into 4 equal parts.

We put the dough on the table and split it in 4 equal parts. We spread the dough and try to form a rectangle, about 40cm by 30cm. We put on the dough the filling and spread it evenly except for one side where we leave an edge of about 2 cm of the dough withut filling. We start rolling tightly on the opposite side, fastening the edges so the fill will not come out. We do the same with the other 3 parts.

We take 2 of them and braid and tighten the doughs then we put them in the tray that was covered with baking paper. We leave to grow again for 30 minutes.

We stir an egg and mix it with a tablespoon of milk. We brush the sweet bread very well.

We preheat the owen at 160 Celsius and leave them for 10 minutes, then increase the temperature to 170 Celsius and leave them for about 50-60 minutes. We use a toothpick or a wood chopstick and stick it into the middle. If it comes out dirty, leave it for another 15 minutes or so. If it comes out clean, it's ready.

Take out the sweet bread and leave them to rest covered with a towel for 30 to 60 minutes.

This is made after Gina Bradea's recipe that I tested and it went very well. I attached the photos of my result. I baked them together as I didn't have 2 trays, but please use separate baking trays. Here is her captioned video as well: