December 07, 2012

Bulgarian Feta Cheese Bread ( Tutmanik/Mesenitza )


I am  posting this recipe for my friends V&M and R, who have been asking for this for such a long time, so I started to feel bad for not responding.  Finally, I have all the pictures taken and all the measurements done!

Tutmanik is very popular in Bulgaria. Every region, every village, and even  family have different recipes and names for it. You may know it as mesenitza, or tutmanik, and the shapes and recipes vary but the basic idea remains the same – make dough filled with the feta cheese, brush the top of the bread with  egg yolk and bake until it starts to smell insanely good!
The standard ingredients for tutmanik are flour, oil or butter, eggs, feta, yeast and lots of flour.



Ingredients:

Starter (biga):
  • 3 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
Dough: 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 cups flour
 Filling:
  • Feta cheese 1/2 lb and more, depending on your taste
  • 3/4 cup Olive oil/ grape seed oil/sunflower oil , depending on your taste. I like using grape seed oil.
Glaze:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp oil 

Preparation:
First mix the ingredients for the starter. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warmer place to rise, until double its size. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes.













In a big bowl, mix  2/3-rds of the flour and the rest of the ingredients. Add the starter.













Knead soft dough, adding the rest of the flour.  If dough is sticky, knead in up to 1/2 additional cup flour to form a smooth, soft, elastic dough. Transfer dough to a very lightly oiled large plastic container or bowl. Cover top of container with plastic wrap and let rise until almost increase 1/2 of its in size - around 30-40 minutes. The dough will be rising again, so you don't need to wait for it to double its size.



Warm the oil and put it in a medium pan, as shown on the picture above. Brake the feta to small crumbs.


Cut the dough to 12-16 balls, with the size of a tennis ball or slightly bigger, depending on the portions you would like to make. Put them in the pan to absorb oil.


Grease your hands and begin  delicately pushing dough into 8- to 10-inch circle. Add the feta.


Gently roll the dough, until you form a log. Then twist the log as shown in the picture above.

Make a swirl, tucking the end under neat. Use the same procedure for the rest of the balls.


Beat the egg yolk and the oil. Brush the swirls with the egg mixture.

Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to double its size.

Depending on the temperature in your home, the tutmanik will need approximately 60-90 minutes to rise.
Preheat the oven to 360F. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the tutmanik becomes golden brown. If you have doubts use an  instant-read thermometer pushed through top side into center of a swirl. The thermometer should  register 185F to 190F degrees.


Serve with yogurt and enjoy!


2 comments:

  1. What a lovely blog - thank you for sharing these

    ReplyDelete
  2. Strahotno! Stana, az popromenih recepnata i izpolzvah bread maker za testoto. Stava i s testo ot pizza. Greeting from Colorado!

    ReplyDelete