Today, March 3th is Bulgarian Liberation Day . It is in recognition of the 1878 freedom from Ottoman rule. Bulgaria was for 500 years under Ottoman rule. The big role for Bulgaria freedom plaid the Rusko- Turkish war (1877- 1878 y.).
The date of 3 March marks the date of the signing the Treaty of San Stefano in 1878.
This peace treaty ended the war and was was signed between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, which proclaimed Bulgaria as an independent state, albeit a vassal state within the Ottoman Empire.
Two weak uprising attempts in Bulgaria, in 1875 and 1876, failed and left around 15,000 Bulgarians massacred by the Ottomans. Many killed were villagers and this created international sentiment towards the people of Bulgaria.

More info from here and here.

Because today is a big day for Bulgaria and Bulgarians, I choose  to show you how to make a round bread, called pogacha.

Bread and salt is a welcome greeting ceremony in many European cultures, including and in Bulgaria.

Bread and salt is a traditional Bulgarian custom expressing hospitality, showing that the guest is welcomed. The bread and salt is commonly presented to guests by a woman. Bulgarians usually make a certain type of bread for this occasion called pogacha, which is flat, round, fancy, and decorated.

Usually, guests are presented with the pogacha, and the guest is supposed to take a small piece, dip into the salt and eat it. This custom is common for official visits regardless of whether the guest is foreign or Bulgarian. One notable example of this custom is when the Russians came to liberate Bulgaria from the Ottomans at the end of the 19th century. A common scene from that period was of a Bulgarian village woman welcoming Russian soldiers with bread and salt as a sign of gratitude. (The source: Wikipedia).

In Bulgaria is very popular homemade round bread. Usually we bake on special occasions, but many people bake without any reason. There are different ways of shaping and decorations. I’m not so good with the dough, so I will give you an easy recipe. My family barely consumes a bread, so I rarely bake it. That is why I made this bread with less amount of ingredients, but I give you the correct amount.

Ingredients:

1 pack of active yeast
1 Tbsp. of sugar
1 tsp. of salt
2 eggs ( leave 1 yolk for brushing the bread)
300 ml of milk
7 oz. of yogurt
3 Tbsp. of vegetable oil
2.1/2 Tbsp. of melted butter
40 ml oil
about 5 cups (700-800 g) of bread flour or little bit more
sesame seeds
poppy seeds

Method:

In slightly warmed milk add yeast and sugar and leave it to activate.
Sift the flour.
In a big bowl put 4 cups of flour, make a hole on the middle and put there the salt, oil, yogurt, one whole egg and one egg white and activated  yeast. First stir it with a spoon, then start to knead by hands. Add little by little more flour, until is needed. The dough should to be soft, but not sticky. Transfer the dough in a lightly greased stainless steel bowl. Cover the dough with a clean towel and put the dough in the oven in very low temperature or leave it in warm place to rise.

Knead the risen dough again and roll it into a big rectangle measuring approximately 25/14″.
Mix together melted butter and vegetable oil and brash the whole rectangle with it. Roll the dough into a big roll.
Cut the both edges of the role about 1.1/2″ from each side. Take this two pieces of dough and knead them again. Roll it into rectangle approximately 12/4″ and fold it in two on the long side. Where is folded make the small cuts. Don’t go to the edge!

Cut the big roll the same way, without interrupting the middle.
Placed the big role buy the edge of the 12″ round lightly greased pan. Role the small dough and put it in the middle. Cover the bread with a towel and leave it in the oven or warm place to rise it again.
Take off the risen bread from the oven and turn the oven to 350°F.

In a cup mix together the egg yolk with a tsp. of oil and a tsp. of milk. Brash the whole bread with the mixture and sprinkle with sesame and poppy seeds.

Bake the bread for about 30 minutes or to golden color. Take it off from the oven and cover the bread with a towel for a little bit.

Честит 3 Март на всички българи! Нека не забравяме и носиме вългарското в нас, където и да се намираме!

Продукти:

20 г прясна мая (или 1 пакет суха)
1 ч. л. захар
1 ч. л. сол
2 яйца -( отделете 1 жълтък за намазване на питката)
300 мл прясно мляко
200 г кисело мляко
3 с. л. олио
40 гр. разстопено краве масло
40 мл олио
около 700-800 гр.  брашно
сусам
маково семе

Начин на приготвяне:

В леко затоплено мляко се добавят маята и захарта и се оставя маята да се активира.
Брашното се пресява.
В голяма купа сложете  4 чаши брашно, направете кладенче в средата и в него поставете солта, разстопеното масло, киселото мляко, едно цяло яйце и един яйчен белтък и активираната мая. Първо разбъркайте  със спатула, а след това започнете да месите с ръце. Добавете малко по малко от останалото брашно или докато е необходимо. Тестото трябва да бъде меко, но не лепкаво. Прехвърлете тестото в леко намаслена алуминиева купа. Покрийте тестото с чиста кърпа и го поставете във фурната на много ниска степен или на  топло място да втаса.

Премесете втасалото тесто и го разточете на голям правоъгълник с размери около 65/35 см.
Смесете заедно разтопено масло и олио и намажете правоъгълника с него. Завийте го на голямо руло.
Изрежете двете краища на рулото около 4 см. от всяка страна. Вземете двете парчета тесто и ги премесете. Разсточете това тесто на правоъгълник около 30/10 см. и го сгънете на две от към  дългата страна. На прегънатата страна направете малки разрези, без да стигате до края.
Нарежете голямо руло по същия начин, без да стигате до края.
В намазана с олио тава(28 см.) поставете голямато руло до стената. Навийте малкия правоъгълник на руло и го поставете в средата на тавата. Покрийте питата с кърпа и я оставете във фурната или на топло място да втаса.
Когато питата втаса, включете фурната на 180°С, а нея намажете с разбития жълтък,смесен с една чаена лъжица олио и една ч.лъжица прясно мляко. Отгоре поръсете със сусам и маково семе.
Печете около 30 минути или до готовност.
Готовата пита покрийте за малко с кърпа.

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Round bread “Daisy” and Bulgarian liberation day / Пита Маргарита

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