Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Bread (Sirnica) - The Sequel!

There are many, many obligations in my life now and, sad to say, I don't blog like I used to....we can all thank the doctoral program in educational leadership at Fresno State!  However, there are just some things that MUST go to the top of the going to Stations of the Cross and heading home to make Sirnica.

Well....I was missing my grandmothers (Grammie and Baba) when I dragged out the family recipe so I decided to toast them both (with that homemade slivovica from Boris poured in to two of Grammie's glasses: one for the Bakas and one for me). I then headed outside to talk to the dog and dress us alike for the occasion (note the bright pink bandanas).  Bissou was not impressed but it lifted my melancholy .

I left him outside to chase the ducks and went to work on my bread.

This year's bread is a bit different.  I "strayed" from the Jerkovič recipe and chose to use my Mom's from the now out of print family cookbook (long painful story about my short lived career as a publisher LOL).  I have separated the steps in the my Mom does.

Next, turn on some Oliver (or go to You Tube and play one of his older pop songs. Oliver is sort of like the Cro version of Sinatra).  Turn it up.  You'll suddenly get the urge to talk with your hands and swear about the underwear of saints (another long story).  Next step, walk over and shut the windows and doors .....cause you don't want any Propuh in the house......

Now...get baking!

Sretan Uskrs!

1/2 c warm water
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
3 packages of fresh yeast (old stuff will kill ya!)
1/2 c flour

1 1/2 cubes of butter
1/2 c regular milk
1 c sugar
6 oz evaporated milk

3 whole eggs (organic is best)
1 egg separated (save whites for brushing tops)
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
1/2 lemon zested
1 T anise flavoring
1/2 c sugar
4 oz slivovica (or high quality booze that is lighter colored, like a brandy.  NO vodka or gin. Yuck!  If also used some tangello from my pal Robyn)
2 1/2 c flour (to start....more like 5 c all together)

Take top section and place in a bowl and mix to a batter.  Place batter in a quiet warm spot (you may have to move a sleeping Croatian.....they like those spots for naps. Mom says try the oven (which should be off!)

Move to group two and place them in a sauce pan and mix and warm till butter is melted.  Keep on low and don't boil.

Take all of the final group (#3) BUT the flour and mix them in a very large bowl.  Slowly mix in the sauce pan stuff alternating with sifted flour.  Should be a batter at this point.  Mix in the batter next to the sleeping Croatian guy ...the stuff in the off oven).  Mix well and add flour until it makes a soft dough.  Fold on to a floured surface and kneed for 8 to 10 minutes.  Place dough in greased bowl and let raise for about an hour.

Punch down and shape in to round loaves.  I put mine in cereal bowls or those tin foil baking pans. Let ire to double their size while preheating oven to 350.  Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Note: about 10 minutes before complete, brush with egg whites and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Heaven when toasted.  Dobar tek!