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A beloved Romanian tradition you can taste while sailing the Danube River

Romanian sweet walnut bread, otherwise known as cozonac, is often served during Easter, Christmas and other significant holidays. It is believed to have derived from an ancient Egyptian recipe that was adapted by the Slavs. Prepared by a longstanding member of our shoreside staff (and former member of our onboard crew), Angie A., this delicious recipe will make you want to prepare the Romanian sweetbread all year round!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 4 Tbs sunflower/ vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Lemon zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1 pound all-purpose flour

For the cream filling:

  • 1 ½ cups ground walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 well-beaten egg whites

Preparation

To make the dough, use an electric mixer to combine the eggs, salt, lemon zest, warm milk, yeast, melted butter, sugar and vanilla extract together. Cover this bowl with a kitchen towel and let sit in a warm place for approximately 1.5 hours.

While the dough is rising, beat together the cream filling ingredients and set aside.

Afterwards, sift the flour and add it slowly, spoonful by spoonful, to the dough, mixing with a wooden spoon. Once the flour is incorporated in the dough, knead the dough until no longer sticky. Roll out onto a wooden board or lightly floured surface to a rectangle of about 1-inch thick and cut in half.

Spread the cream filling onto the dough and starting from one of the long ends, roll the dough lengthwise with your fingers, creating two rolls. Pinch the ends to ensure the cream filling will not spill out as the bread bakes.

Lightly oil your bread pans with vegetable oil and cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of each pan. Bake for 45 minutes at 350°F.

When you take them out, let them sit until cool, then remove from pans.

Bon Appétit, or as they say in Romania, Pofta Buna!

Taste this mouthwatering bread for yourself while visiting Romania during our Gems of Southeast Europe or Grand Danube sailings!

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