No matter what they say or do, you will never find better sweet bread than in Moldova! Fluffy and fragrant that spreads pale-pale with a generous walnut filling and that keeps its freshness for days.
The recipe is simple, but you must respect the preparation, the quantity, and the quality of the ingredients, and the result will be far beyond expectations.
The first time I saw this traditional Moldavian walnut sweet bread, I knew it was exactly what I needed, that it must be good, and I didn’t hesitate to ask for the recipe. The ingredients are the same as the ones we currently use for normal sweet bread, but the preparation and kneading make this recipe special, as you only find it in Moldova.
The smell of freshly baked sweet bread reminds us of childhood and family time. For Easter or Christmas, this recipe is one of the dishes on the table.
This recipe is a beautiful thing. It’s buttery, rich, and fluffy. It has a delicate crumb that might be filled with nuts or dried fruits or chocolate chips. It’s the sort of bread that you have with tea, milk, and conversation.
This recipe can be a comforting treat when you’re feeling under the weather; it makes a lovely accompaniment to your morning coffee, and it’s an excellent snack before bed.
The key to a perfect recipe is learning how to make it on your own. You can add whatever fillings you like and tweak the flavors until you get them just right for your palate.
Making this delicious dessert yourself also means you can control the quality of the ingredients, ensuring each bite leaves you feeling satisfied but never heavy or weighed down.
This recipe will rival anything from a professional bakery, if not beat it out altogether!
The recipe is great as is, but we want it even better, extra fluffy, like cotton candy for your teeth but sugar-free and more filling, and flavor, and walnuts…You get the picture. We like sweet bread around here a lot. I mean a LOOOOOOOT!
This walnut sweet bread is traditionally made for Easter and Christmas. It has a sweet, fluffy texture that melts in your mouth. I make this recipe every year for Easter, and it is so delicious that I thought I’d share the recipe with everyone.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Kneading Time: 50 Minutes
Leavened Time: 2 Hours
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours: 10 minutes
• 500 g of dry flour
• 10 yolks
• 200 g Stevia sweetener
• 50 ml oil
• 100 g butter with 80% fat
• 250 ml milk + 50 ml warm milk for the sourdough preparation.
• 2 tbsps of rum essence
• Freshly grated zest from 1 lemon
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• 7 g of dry yeast or 25 g of fresh yeast (I used fresh)
• 70 g fat yogurt or kefir
• 1 tablespoon of lard
• 1 cube of butter to grease the dish (or baking paper)
Ingredients for the filling:
• 500 g ground walnuts
• 100 g Stevie powder (or to taste)
• 10 egg whites.
• 1 egg yolk + 20 ml milk + 1 pinch of salt to grease the cake (for gloss).
Preparation of ingredients for dough preparation:
All the necessary ingredients for this recipe are taken out hot one night before preparation, to be at room temperature, otherwise, the sweet bread is “cut”.
1. Separate the eggs in the evening, mix the yolks with salt and beat a little with a wooden spoon (not metal), and leave, covered, until the next day.
2. Sift the flour into a plastic bowl.
3. Boil 50 ml of milk and scald 1 teaspoon of flour (pour the milk, stirring with a wooden spoon, not to make lumps) and leave to cool.
4. Sourdough – if you have fresh yeast, dissolve it in 50 ml of warm milk (not hot), add a knife tip of Stevia and a teaspoon of flour, stirring until it becomes like a pancake batter. (If you use dry yeast, mix it directly with the flour, do not make sourdough), cover and let it rise, but not more than 15 minutes.
5. Put 200 ml of milk together with Stevia and rum essence on the fire and mix until the Stevia melts completely.
6. Mix the butter with a tablespoon of lard and melt.
How to knead the dough?
Now, we start the kneading.
7. Make a hole in the middle of the flour mound and pour the yolks with salt, sourdough, cooled flour (flour scaled with milk), fatty yogurt, grated lemon zest, and start mixing, adding warm milk a little, until it reaches the desired consistency.
8. Now we start to add a little oil, until it is finished and knead, from the edge to the middle, so that the dough does not break, with energetic movements, but not brutal.
9. When the oil is finished, add the melted butter, little by little, not all at once: grease the bowl, lift the dough, and grease it underneath.
10. When we start to put the fat, the dough hardens, so add warm milk, if you need more or a little white flour, if the dough is too soft.
The amount of milk and flour cannot be given exactly to this type of traditional cake because it depends on how many eggs you use, how dry the flour is, and how much liquid it absorbs.
11. Kneading should take at least 50-60 minutes until the dough comes off the hand, becomes smooth, and has air bubbles, or 20 minutes for the food processor.
12. Put the bowl down and roll out the dough 15-20x, then knead a little more (this way it becomes softer, more elastic, the air bubbles shrink, and are more uniform).
13. Place the dough bowl in a warm place, covered with a kitchen towel, and leave it to leaven for 2 hours until it doubles in volume (after 30 minutes, the dough is kneaded again, about 5 minutes in this way, the yeast is reactivated.
How is the dough filled and braided?
14. In a bowl, add the ground walnuts, Stevie powder, and egg whites and mix until completely incorporated.
15. Spread the dough with a rolling pin to the size of 30 x 30 cm and spread the walnut composition, roll each side on the longer side, from the middle to the outside, obtaining a roll and closing it at the ends.
16. Place in a tray lined with baking paper and greased with butter (the cake will have a special flavor).
17. Meanwhile, I heated the oven to 160 C with heat up + down + ventilation (medium to high in gas.
18. I greased it with beaten egg yolk with a little milk and a pinch of salt (with a soft brush), it can be sprinkled with poppy seeds, powdered sugar, cinnamon, sesame, or ground walnut.
19. I immediately put the cake pan in the preheated oven and baked it for 60 minutes at 180 C. I can’t describe the flavors in the kitchen to you 🙂.
20. Turn on all sides about every 10 minutes, not let go, because the dough is extremely fine.
21. Do the toothpick test – do not get wet at all when you take it out of the cake.
22. That’s it! The cake is brown and beautiful, we take it out of shape and remove the baking paper.
23. Let the cake cool on a wire rack, or a wooden bottom, on the side at first, turning it from side to side every 10 minutes, and then standing.
An extraordinarily fragrant and fluffy walnut sweet bread came out!
Drizzle over ground walnuts.
Leave it on the grill until it cools completely. If you break it while hot, you destroy the structure of the dough. I waited patiently until I could slice it nicely with a serrated knife (the bread knife).
Shall I tell you how tasty and fragrant it is? I also cut some slices to see the section.
This fragrant and fluffy walnut sweet bread is easily sliced with a serrated knife (bread), it does not crumble. It is flavored with rum, lemon, and has a slightly moist, elastic, and hard flour texture, and simply melts in your mouth.
You can serve it as such or with a glass of milk or tea.
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