How to make Bulgarian “Tutmanik”

Tutmanik is a Bulgarian traditional bread usually made from white flour stuffed with white hard cheese. Usually, it’s made on special occasions or for a family breakfast. A house filled with the smell of a freshly baked Tutmanik always makes you feel warm and cozy.

Let’s go to the recipe, shall we?

Here is the list of the ingredients that you need:

500g strong bread flour

300 ml whole milk

1 egg

100 g unsalted butter

150 g feta cheese

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 1/2 pack of dry yeast (10g)

How to make it:

To start the dough first you need to cream the yeast. You can do this by adding lukewarm milk (it’s very important the milk to be blood heat – 37°C, because if it’s too hot you will kill the yeast cells and if it’s too cold you will slow down the action).

Meanwhile for better result you can sieve your flour and heat it up a bit. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Than pour the creamed yeast and add the rest of the ingredients – salt, sugar, sunflower oil and only the egg white. You’ll need the egg yolk later on.

Combine the mixture very well using a wooden spoon, than continue either by using an electric mixer or by hand. Mix until it comes away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Than is time for kneading. The more you knead the dough, the more elastic and smooth it will become. The dough must be thoroughly kneaded to develop the elasticity of the gluten. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead by lifting and folding one end of the dough towards you into the centre, than pushing it down and away from you with the heel of your hand. Turn around the dough and repeat the process. Carry on with this stretching, folding and pushing for about 10 minutes.

After you are finished with the kneading, shape the dough into a ball shape and put it into a slightly greased bowl. Cover with cling film and let it rise for at least 45 minutes at room temperature or until it doubled its size.

∗ Tip: If it’s a bit chilly in the room that you are making the dough it might take more than hour and a half to prove. You can turn on the oven to 50°C just for 2 minutes than turn it off and put the dough to prove in there .

When it’s already risen put it onto lightly floured surface and knead for 2 more minutes only, just enough to knock out the air bubbles. After that it should return to its original size.

It’s time to shape it. Cut the dough into 4 pieces.

Roll out each piece into a rectangular shape and spread 1/4 of the melted butter on top and sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese.

Than roll the dough into a loaf and twist the ends in opposite direction to shape it like a rope. Than make it into a circle.

Repeat the process with the rest of the balls and put all of them into a slightly greased baking tray. Cover with tea towel and let it prove again for another 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile beat the egg yolk with a few drops of milk. After the Tutmanik has risen for the second time cover it with the mixture using a brush.

Turn the oven to 200°C or 180°C with a fan and place the Tutmanik in straight away, while the oven is still cold. This will help the dough to rise even more. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.