If there’s something I enjoy about Easter besides dying the eggs with dry onion skin, it’s the baking of the traditional Czech pastry called mazanec. It’s easy to make and it’s a perfect proof of that the Czech cuisine is not only delicious but also has some really easy delicious recipes. I also prepared for you a recipe for a similar recipe from the south of Europe.
- 500 g of flour of a bigger grain, such as bread flour (although if you have all-purpose flour, you can use that, too)
- 100 g of sugar
- 100 g butter, let it soften at room temperature, don’t melt
- grated peel from 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 175 ml of lukewarm milk + 5 tbsp
- 1 cube (42 g) yeast
- 2 egg yolks + 1 to brush
- 30 g of almond slices
First heat 5 spoons of milk in a bowl and divide the yeast into it. Add 1 tbsp of sugar and let it ferment for 15 minutes. Put the flour into another bowl, add sugar, salt and lemon peel. Add the fermented sourdough and mix. Add butter, vanilla extract, the rest of the milk and 2 egg yolks. Mix properly until the dough doesn’t stick to the walls of the bowl and until it’s compact. You can also knead it with your hands. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise to a double volume. The rising time depends on the temperature, normally it takes between 1 and 1,5 h.
The traditional mazanec has a form of a bread loaf, for this you just need to put some baking sheet onto a baking tray. This time I decided to bake it in a mold, in this cake grease the mold and spread some flour over the greased inside of the mold so that the dough doesn’t stick to it while baking. Preheat the oven on 170°C and put a bowl with water in the oven.
Pour the dough onto the tray and form a loaf, or pour it into the mold. Whisk the egg yolk (you can mix it with 1 tbsp of milk if you think you don’t have enough yolk) and brush the top of the dough. Finally, sprinkle it with the almond slices.
Bake it for 15 minutes. Then cover with aluminium foil, lower the temperature to 150°C and bake for about 50 minutes.
Mona de Pascua
The good news is, if you can make mazanec, you can probably make the Spanish sweet pastry Mona de Pascua. Moreover, it’s made differently in every region of Spain, it can have different forms and decoration. You can choose between a bread loaf or a braid ring, or you can bake it in a mold for a Czech sponge cake with a hole in the middle – then you put a boiled egg in the hole. The mona is traditionally decorated with candied fruit, sugar or egg white snow.
You will need:
For the sourdough:
- 100 g of flour with high gluten content
- 10 g of yeast
- 60 ml of lukewarm water
For the dough:
- 410 g of flour with high gluten content
- 25 g of yeast
- 3 eggs
- 140 g of sugar
- 80 ml of olive oil
- grated peel from 1 orange
- 15 ml of orange blossom water (might be difficult to get i our country so just skip this one)
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp of powder sugar
Divide the yeast in 60 ml of water, add 100 g flour, mix well and let it ferment for 15 minutes. Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl: flour, yeast, sugar and orange peel. The add the sourdough, olive oil, orange flower water and mix in each egg separately. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise to a double volume. Grease the mold and spread some flour over the greased inside of the mold so that the dough doesn’t stick to it while baking or just put a baking sheet onto a tray if you want to bake it as a bread loaf. Preheat the oven on 175 °C. If you bake it upside up, you can brush it with an egg yolk. Bake it for about 20 minutes and pinch a wooden stick into it to know if it’s done. If the stick comes out clean, the mona is done. Let it cool and take it out of the mold.
Whisk the egg white to snow and mix in the powder sugar. Decorate the mona with it and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes on 150 °C.