It is a holiday in Korea. Tomorrow is the Lunar New Year, so I made a holiday food, Romanian Cozanac. There are many different recipes for Cozanac, but this is the one that I have. I have eaten many different versions of cozanac that different Romanian ladies made. Sometimes it has fruit in it, but my recipe only calls for nuts and cocoa. Romanians are some of the best cooks in the world. It is hard to find something they eat in Romania that doesn’t taste good unless you start thinking about people who put lard on their bread like butter, but this is completely different from that. When the Romanian ladies cook, they are meticulous, and they go the extra mile, and it pays off. Their cozanac is delicious. It took me all day to make, but I know my family will really enjoy it. The last time I made cozanac, some Korean students were visiting, and they began telling me I needed to open a business selling it, but I am not a professional baker, just a lady who cooks a lot at home. This is what I did.
I began with a sauce pan. I heated a cup of milk, 3/4 cup of sugar, and 3/4 cup of butter together until the sugar and butter were both melted, then I turned it off.
Next, I broke three eggs into a bowl and mixed them up. I graded one table spoon of orange peel. I added the one tablespoon of orange peel to the eggs. I added a teaspoon of vanilla to the eggs, and I mixed it all up. After that, I added everything that was in the bowl to the mixture in the sauce pan, and I mixed it up.
Next, I got out a big mixing bowl. I put two cups of flour and two packages of yeast in the mixing bowl and mixed them together. By this time, what was in the sauce pan was cooled, but not completely cool. It needed to still be warm because the yeast will need it to be warm, but not hot so it will raise. I added the contents of the sauce pan to the flour and yeast mixture and mixed it around for a while with a wire whip to make sure everything was mixed in.
I kneaded the dough for a while making sure that everything was mixed in well.
Next, I added three more cups of flour to the mixing bowl and kneaded it until I had a nice dough. I took the dough and put it in a warm place in the my kitchen that wouldn’t be disturbed. I covered it with a clean dish towel. I left it to rise until it was double in bulk.
I cleaned my kitchen and took a break. This recipe takes so much that when you have to wait for the dough to raise, you really need a break.
I put 3/4 cup of sugar and a cup of milk in a sauce pan. I mixed them around and began heating them.
I put a cup of milk and 3/4 cup sugar in a sauce pan and let it boil. I turned it down and just kept cooking it and stirring it. After a bit, I put 2 cups of walnuts in the sugar and milk mixture and just kept cooking it. I was letting it thicken. After a big, I continued cooking and added 1/4 cup of cocoa and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. I mixed it in and just kept cooking. I let it simmer stirring it off and on, and finally I decided it had probably cooked long enough, and then I took it off the fire.
I covered my cabinet with tin foil, and then I oiled the tin foil. I also oiled the outside of a glass to use to roll the dough out. (We are doing this the Romanian way, not the American way.) I separated a piece of dough from the rest of it. I actually ended up separated my dough into 5 pieces. I wanted to try braiding with 5 pieces because some German lady missionaries and a Hungarian/Romanian lady invited me to make bread with them one day, and they had me braiding my bread with 5 strands. I haven’t braided my bread for a long time, but I decided that since my recipe called to make rolls like you do when you make cinnamon rolls and then to brain them together, I decided to try the braid with 5 pieces again.
I did a really messy job of braiding five pieces. Maybe I was just too tired to have the patience to do it right, but I ended up with one long messy braid.
I rolled each 5 pieces of bread out, then spread the nut and chocolate mixture from the sauce pan over each one, and then I rolled them up. I made 5 long rolls. When I began braiding, I think I forgot the exact way they told me to braid because I didn’t like the way my braid turned out. Braiding with three pieces would have worked. That is what I did the last time I made cozanac.
I had one long piece of braided dough, and then I cut it in half and put it in two different bread pans. At this point, I was pretty tired, so I decided to cover it and sit down and rest a few minutes.
After I bit, I came back. I broke an egg into a bowl. I don’t have a pastry brush, so I used a paper towel, and I brushed the top of the bread with the egg. I turned the oven on the lowest temperature I could put it on. I put the two loaves in the oven to rise. It is supposed to rise until it comes just to the top of the pans.
When it rose the appropriate amount, I turned my oven to 375 and cooked it for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, I took it out of the oven and covered it with tin foil and put it back in the oven. If I hadn’t it would have burned. After I put tin foil on the top of it, I baked it for 35 more minutes.
After 35 minutes, I took it out of the oven and melted butter all over the top of it. I took it out of the pans and put it on plates to cool. My daughter and I broke pieces off and tried it, and as I knew it would be, it is delicious!