Festive Bulgarian Bread With Buttery Layers (Video)
This festive Bulgarian bread is prepared and served for the happiest occasions. You can’t have a wedding, birthday or Christmas without it. Every family has a recipe that is passed down from generation to generation. The crust of the bread is flaky and buttery, and the inside is so fluffy. I prepare this bread every time we have special occasions or gatherings with friends and family. I always get so many compliments for it. People ask me for the recipe all the time, so I decided it is time to share it.
Helpful tips about making the Dough
How to measure flour? Always scoop more flour than you need in your cup and use a knife to level it off. If you have a scale, use it, because measuring ingredients by weigh is always more accurate. One cup of flour contains exactly 4 oz or 125 grams of all-purpose flour.
When you make the dough, you might need more or less flour. It depends on the type and the brand of flour that you use. I recommend using bread flour for this recipe since it is higher on gluten.
It is very important to add the flour gradually until you have soft and stretchy dough. If it is sticking to your hands and you cannot form it to a ball, then you need more flour.
For this recipe I use two eggs. I separate one egg and I use the egg yolk for egg wash. Then I add one whole egg and one egg white to the dough.
Use slightly warm milk for the dough. I warm mine in the microwave for a minute before I add it to the rest of the ingredients. This will help with yeast activation and proofing.
Keep the salt away from the yeast! I always add the salt after I added at least one cup of flour. I never sprinkle salt directly over the yeast. This is very important because salt kills yeast, which can stop the fermentation process and the dough won’t rise.
Helpful tips about making the festive bulgarian bread
Add flour on the surface you roll the dough. This will prevent sticking and it will help with easier rolling.
You need to roll the dough to three equal-sized rectangles. Then spread butter on each rectangle and stack them.
Proof the bread in the oven at 110F. This will keep it away from drafts and keep the temperature constant. Keep the pan with the dough inside the oven while preheating it. This method works and I use it every single time I make a bread. It prevents the dough from rapid change in temperature.
Baking time might be different depending on the oven. I usually check my bread after 30 minutes of baking, but it needs about 40-45 minutes to be ready.
Store leftover in a bread box or in a paper bag for 2-3 days. To extend its life you can also store in the refrigerator and preheat before serving.
Festive Bulgarian Bread With Buttery Layers
- Stand mixer
- 1 cup whole milk plus one tablespoon for the egg wash
- ½ cup Plain or Greek yogurt whole is best
- ½ cup water
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4-5 cups flour bread flour is best but all purpose works too
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
- nonstick cooking spray
- Remove the butter out of the refrigerator. Crack one egg open and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Put the egg white in the bowl of the stand mixer and the egg yolk in a small bowl.
- Add a tablespoon of milk to the egg yolk in the small bowl and stir it well. Cover and set aside. This will be your egg wash.
- Break and add the other egg into the mixer bowl.
- To the mixer bowl add the milk, yogurt, water, sugar, yeast, two cups of flour and the salt. Start mixing on the lowest possible speed until you have a wet dough.
- Gradually add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until you have a soft and stretchy dough.
- Once all the flour is incorporated and you have dough that doesn’t stick to the sides increase the speed of mixing and knead for at least 5 minutes.
- Remove the dough attachment and cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and leave it for an hour to proof.
- Once the dough is double in size, transfer it on a floured surface. Cut it to three equal parts and form balls. Roll each dough ball to a rectangle (about 11 x 17 inches).
- Make sure that the butter is soft and at room temperature. Spread one tablespoon of butter on top of each rectangular dough sheet and stack them on top of each other. Make sure they are the same size. You can stretch them a little bit to mach their length.
- Cut the rectangle to 10 triangles. Roll each triangle into a croissant. Spray a round 10 inch pan with nonstick spray. Arrange the croissants in the pan.
- Brush each croissant with the egg wash and place in the oven. Preheat the oven until the temperature reaches 110F. Proof inside a slightly warm oven at 110F for 30 minutes.
- Without removing the pan from the oven start preheating to 355F. Start a timer for 40 minutes. Bake until the timer beeps or until the bread is baked on top and bottom.
- Carefully remove the bread form the baking pan and place on a cooking rack. Cool down for 10 minutes and serve warm.