Those deco breads can be made both sweet and savoury, with a filling inside or without it, though the non-filled version is much more common.
They are usually made for some holiday or special occasion dinners, to embellish the table and to give the meal an extra elegant tone. In some countries, this type of bread, especially the sweet one, is an inevitable part of each wedding, engagement or baby welcome ceremony, always representing something nice and positive for those who celebrate. But I'll write something more on this topic in some future post...
And now, let's begin with the recipe! Make sure you have the following ingredients:
- approx. 800 g flour
- 40 g fresh yeast (OR 15 g dry yeast)
- 250 ml milk (lukewarm)
- 100 ml oil
- 200 g sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 100 g butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Combine yeast, sugar and milk until yeast dissolves. Set aside for a few minutes until yeast activates.
If you're using dry yeast, there is no need to activate it before kneading, so just skip to step 2.
- In a big bowl put oil, sour cream, unbeaten eggs, salt and the activated yeast mixture (or dry yeast +sugar + lukewarm milk). Lightly combine the ingredients using a whisk. Then gradually add flour and start kneading. Knead until you get a smooth and medium-hard dough. Add some more flour if needed.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside at a warm place. Let the dough triple its volume, and then re-knead it. Let it rise once again and re-knead it again. When done so, the dough will be light, fluffy and full with holes, like shown in the photo below.
5. Melt the butter. You can use margarine or lard instead.
6. Prepare a round Ø28cm baking pan. Grease well the bottom and the sides. Take the first 1/5 part of the dough and form it into a slightly flattened ball. Place it in the center of the pan.
7. Take the second 1/5 part and roll it out into a rectangular sheet, approx. 40x20cm. Cut out the edges to get a regular rectangle. Brush with melted butter and roll lengthwise. Set aside.
Put the roulade you made in step 7 in the middle, like shown in the photo below. Then cut the sheet from the both sides, making 1cm wide stripes.
Fold one stripe from the left over the roulade, then one from the right, and again one from the left, one from the right.. and so one till the end. You'll get a long piece of dough that looks like a braid. Place the braid around half of the ball in the pan.
9. Now, take the biggest part of the dough, the 2/5, and roll it out to get a sheet which is 30cm long and as wide as possible. It doesn't have to be a regularly-shaped rectangle.
Brush with melted butter and roll it widthwise. Cut into 1,5 cm thick slices. Arrange the slices into the remaining half of the pan, as shown in the photo below.
Enjoy and bon appétit!