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Sunflower Bulgarian Bread: WTSIM Easter Basket

Do you ever get stuck on one picture and its recipe while reading your favorite blogs and you go back to it many many times? The minute I saw this bread, I hit the "add to favorite' button, and stared at it several times a day while reading emails or researching items on the computer. The recipe comes originally from Zapbook and has already traveled the French blogosphere quite a bit during this past month. I have been fond of Petite Lolie’s blog from the day I stumbled upon it. There is something aboout her site…it is beautiful, that’s what it is. Full of life, warmth, knowledge, know hows ans how tos…It’s fresh and abundant in lip smacking recipes.

Although the exact source of the bread is unknown, the recipe delivers a sunflower looking like brioche. I followed Petite Lolie recommendation and added a bit more sugar. I don’t think I kneaded the dough quite enough as the the texture of the dough was not as soft as my previous brioche. Always room for improvement. The actual shaping of each roll may seem time consuming but it took me about 15-20 minutes and the end result (look wise) is well worth it.

Sunflower Bulgarian Bread, adapted from Zapbook and Petite Lolie:

200 gr. milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
500 gr. flour
2 tsp. dry yeast
50 gr. melted butter
extra melted butter for shaping the rolls

Put the yeast in a non reactive bowl. Heat the milk to lukewarm, and pour it over the yeast. Stir with a fork or spoon to make sure it dissolves properly. Add 2 Tb. sugar and slat and let the yeast proof for 10 minutes.
In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, eggs, remaining sugar, melted butter. Turn the mixer on slow and slowly pour in the yeast mixture. Let the dough come together and continue the kneading either by hand or with the mixture for a good 5-8 minutes.
Put the dough into an oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Shaping of the bread:
Once the dough has risen, divide it into 16 equal portions. Roll each portion out into a circle or oval. Take one piece, brush with melted butter, stack another piece on it, brush with melted butter again and repeat with 2 other portions. You are actually making 4 stacks of 4 portions each. Roll each stack tightly. Cut each into 4 triangular pieces. Position the rolls in a 10 inch round pan, with pointy ends facing toward the center.
Let rise for another 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375. Once the dough has risen, brush with an egg wash (egg beaten with some milk) and bake for 30 minutes.

End result…one could argue that brioche is brioche and this is yet another recipe. But come on, look at those plump folds! Every nation has its version of the basic brioche dough and I like exploring other cultures through bread baking. I am looking forward to making this one again, probably for the only reason that it looks gorgeous, tastes great, behaves well, and made my morning brighter! Yep, I am not complicated…making bread fuels my fire! I am wondering if such a bread exists in Bulgaria so I am on the lookout for a source, let me know if you have one.

One thing for sure: I am definetely putting this in my Easter Basket to be delivered to The Passionate Cook as part of this month’s Waiter There’s Something In My…(and because my dear mother in law is organizing brunch next sunday, as a pre-Easter menu testing).

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MyKitchenInHalfCups March 27, 2007 um 11:58 pm

That is totally terrific!!!
I know it’s crazy but I really love shaping breads! This is beautiful. Another reason I’m really sorry I don’t know French.

Anonymous March 28, 2007 um 4:45 am

It’s so pretty, Helene. Almost too pretty to eat!

Anuhea March 28, 2007 um 8:28 am

That bread is just beautiful, I’m afraid I would mess it up though. Also, I loved your red velvet pics, but was sad that you didn’t use chocolate in your recipe.

Anonymous March 28, 2007 um 9:52 am

Wow, it looks just great!

thepassionatecook March 28, 2007 um 10:02 am

this looks stunning! i made a similar "bouquet" of pastries with my mum earlier this year… certainly a great, great contribution to our event – thanks for participating!

Warda March 28, 2007 um 10:58 am

What a beautiful bread! I wouldn’t be able to eat it though,I would be sad to mess it up. Just having it on my table would be enough for me.

Anonymous March 28, 2007 um 12:43 pm

ooh…I totally want to make this. Now I’ll have to add this to my favorites. What a nice take on the brioche!

Anonymous March 28, 2007 um 12:47 pm

This bread looks wonderful! Very nice recipe.

Alanna Kellogg March 28, 2007 um 1:01 pm

The layers are just so very pretty!

Cheryl March 28, 2007 um 1:02 pm

How beautiful. This really gives me the feel of Easter. Anybody would love to get that in their basket.

Anonymous March 28, 2007 um 1:05 pm

Looks so elegant! Petite Lolie’s blog looks amazing too…I wish it was in english…or I could speak french!

Freya March 28, 2007 um 1:37 pm

These look stunning! I would love to receive some of these for easter!

Anonymous March 28, 2007 um 2:16 pm

Beautiful bread, I love how you cut and shaped the bread, a very interesting visual design, too good to eat!

Anonymous March 28, 2007 um 3:09 pm

Que ce pain a l’air delicieux ! J’en ai l’eau a la bouche rien que d’y penser!

Patricia Scarpin March 28, 2007 um 3:39 pm

Helene, what a beautifully shaped bread!
You have magic hands, I can tell! 🙂

Almost Vegetarian March 28, 2007 um 5:20 pm

What an absolutely gorgeous bread. And with an incredibly easy recipe. If it tastes anywhere near as good as it looks, I’m in bread heaven. Cheers!

Anonymous March 28, 2007 um 5:32 pm

That looks absolutely stunning! It does look a little complicated to make, but definetely will try it one afternoon, wish me luck, Helene :)!

Elle March 28, 2007 um 7:27 pm

What a unique way to shape the dough. It really looks pretty. Another recipe to add to the 'must make' list. Great photo, too.

Lis March 29, 2007 um 12:12 am

Absolutely gorgeous!! I am just amazed at how pretty that is! 'kay it’s official.. when I grow up, I wanna be like you. =)


Alicia March 29, 2007 um 1:42 am

So pretty! I will have to try this one soon. It looks perfect to take out on the patio for a breakfast. =)

Anonymous March 29, 2007 um 5:26 am

Waou !!! I’s very beautiful, i loved that

Peabody March 29, 2007 um 7:40 am

Oh how I wish my French was better. I would really love to be able to read that site…not just random words on it.

Peabody March 29, 2007 um 7:40 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous March 29, 2007 um 5:52 pm

Hi Helene! Wow – that bread is absolutely gorgeous! I must try this sometime!

Helene March 30, 2007 um 1:49 am

Thanks everyone for all your comments. I wish I could have time to respond individually but this week has been very hectic.
I appreciate all your comments, they are always so touching and make this adventure worth while.
Thank you!

Pille April 2, 2007 um 5:22 pm

I’ve bookmarked the recipe as well, and am really looking forward to trying this popular bread. It definitely looks really attractive on your photo!!

Andrew April 3, 2007 um 12:10 am

how interesting. Is it really Bulgarian?

I’m hosting the next round of WTSIM and this would fit right in with the next theme… but I am sure you will find something again hugely original.

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