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Shining Sun Loaf for Birthdays

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Shining Sun Loaf for Birthdays
Image: Vanya Georgieva
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17/07/2017
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Preparation
60 min.
Cooking
35 min.
Тotal
95 min.
Servings
16
"I`ve long been searching for a loaf maker better than Vanya but have not been able to find such."

Ingredients

  • eggs - 2 (1 yolk for smearing)
  • milk - 1 1/5 cups (300 ml)
  • yoghurt - 2 tbsp
  • yeast - 1 1/3 tbsp (21 g), fresh
  • sugar - 2 tbsp
  • salt - 1 tbsp
  • oil - 4 tbsp
  • flour - 2 lb (1 kg)
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds
measures

How to cook

Put the sugar and yeast in a bowl, stir well until the sugar liquefies and melts. Heat the milk to the point where you can keep your finger in it and pour 1/2 cup of it to the yeast. Stir until the sugar is completely melted and sprinkle with a little sifted flour. Cover with a plate and leave it aside for the yeast to activate.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs but set aside 1 yolk for smearing the loaf later. Add 2-3 tbsp yoghurt to them and beat well, add the milk and oil. Sift the flour, add the salt, make a well and pour in the milky mixture and activated yeast. Stir with a large spoon and add the flour a little at a time. You may not need all of the flour (too much will give you a hard dough).

I tend to sift about 3 cups (700 g) of it and leave the rest aside, adding a little at a time if needed. Start kneading with your hands to decide whether your dough is soft or hard. I got 46 oz (1300 g) of dough. Smear the bowl with oil and leave the dough in it (also oiled), covered with a lid or towel to rise.

Once it doubles in volume, divide it into 3 parts: 1 part about 16 oz (450 g) and the other 2 about 13 oz (370 g) each. Shape the large part into a wide ball, leave it in an oven dish covered with baking paper. Roll out the other 2 parts of dough into 2 large round sheets, place one atop the other after smearing one with oil.

Cut them into 16 triangles, make a cut on the vertex of each and pull up from the bottom. Arrange the resulting leaves onto your large ball of dough, with the vertices meeting in the middle of the loaf. Squeeze the wide parts of the leaves with your fingers to round them off (see photo).

Cover the formed loaf with foil and leave it to rise. Once it gets to the point where it's soft and fluffy when you touch it, smear it with the yolk beaten with a little milk and oil. Decorate with pumpkin seeds as desired; I put some in the middle and on every leaf. Sprinkle with sesame as well. Heat the oven to 320°F (160 °C) and put it to bake; I bake on both elements at the same time, on low.

Bake about 35 min., depending on the oven. Take the loaf out after checking with a wooden skewer to see if it's ready. Leave it to cool on a rack and smear with butter while still warm. It's an excellent loaf for birthdays because it looks like a cake.

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