I had a few requests to get the recipe in English so here it is! Later I will also add subtitles to the movie.
My mom says: The magic is in the smell of the baking, the smell of the winter holidays, cozonac you can find anywhere, that’s not it.
* see at the end of the post a movie that shows all the steps described below. My mom is the main star of the clip :)
And this is how my mom makes cozonac:
To make 2 pieces of cozonac we need the following ingredients:
1 kg of flower;
5-6 eggs, depending on how large they are + 2 more for the filling (the walnuts and cocoa);
300 gr of sugar;
zest (citrus peel) from 1 lemon / 1 table spoon of zest from an lemon;
a pinch of salt (just as much as you can get on the tip of a knife);
a packet of vanilla sugar;
½ liters of milk;
2 pieces of baker’s yeast (as much as 2 walnuts);
200-300 gr of crushed walnuts;
1 table spoon of cocoa;
9 table spoons of oil;
That’s it, now let’s divide the ingredients.
1) The baker’s yeast
On top of the baker’s yeast I add sugar (1 tea spoon) and mix it well, so it liquefies (becomes like a runny paste)
2) The mix of eggs, sugar and milk
In a bowl I put the eggs + the sugar and mix them vigurously together with the pinch of salt, the vanilla sugar and the zest. I add ¾ of the milk. With the remaining 1/4 milk I scald the flower (see below).
3) Scalding the flower and preparing leaven
In a bowl I put 1 table spoon of flower. After bringing the remaining 1/4 of the mil to a boil I scald the flower with it (pore it over the flower). Leave the resulting mix to cool down until it’s just a little warm. At this point I put over the baker’s yeast and sugar, which should be a runny paste.
The resulting mix is called the leaven :). The leaven will grow. It has to grow 4 times. Meaning that every time it grows (let’s say doubling it’s size) I push it down with a spoon.
Advice: When you pore the milk over the flower do it all at once. Don’t stop and then pore some more.
4) In the mean time I prepare the cake molds
I brush the molds with oil and put on the bottom and on the sides baking paper (it used to be called parchment paper)
5) I make the dough and toss it
Over the flower I add the mix of mix of eggs sugar and eggs plus the leaven. I mix it well and start tossing it until it become homogeneous (uniform). After that we let the dough rise witha clean apron or clean piece of cloth over it, in a warm place.
Advice: When the dough doubles in volume I consider that it has risen enough and it’s ready.
6) Making the filling
While the dough rises I prepare the filling: the walnuts and cocoa from the middle on the cozonac.
Separate the whites from 2 eggs and beat them very well with sugar. Around 2 table spoons of sugar should be enough.
On top of it add the crushed walnuts and cocoa.
Advice: I keep the egg yolks to brush it over the cozonac before it goes in the over.
7) I put the filling inside the dhough and the dhough in the molds
After the dough has doubled in size, I split it in 2 equal parts and each piece I stretch to be around 2 cm thick. I spread the filling of walnuts and egg eavenly on top of it. And roll the dough. Put the dough in the molds that were brushed with oil beforehand and have baking paper in them.
I let the dough sit in the molds to rise. Let them rise it doubles in size inside the mold. Before the molds go into the oven, I brush over them the egg yolks, It will give it a shiny finish.
Attention: The oven must be preheated to around 170 degrees
It has to stay in the oven for around 45 minutes. To check if it’s ready I use a wooden toothpic or something similar. When you stick the toothpick in nothing must stick to it.
Mom says: Now it’s starts to be nice, when the cozonac starts to smell.
Be careful: Do not open the oven doors in the first 15 minutes!
Advice: You can tell if they are ready by feeling the weight. When you pick the mold up it has to feel light.
Advice: It depends a lot on your over. Be aware of how your oven burns. If it has the tendency to burn from above too much put a tin foil on the top. If it burns from the bottom, just put the molds higher.
8) We eat :)
My moms advice:
1. All the ingredients should be at room temperature. Especially the eggs and the flower, but the rest too.
2. The oven must be hot when you put in the cozonac. When you start preparing the ingredients, turn on the oven. Around 170 degrees Celsius is ok.
And this it the movie which should explain better (it’s in Romanian but you can follow the steps)
All rights reserver to my mom :)