An Easter tradition in Croatia, pinca also known as sirnica is a sweet bread that is flavored with raisins, rum and citrus zest. It is commonly shaped into a round loaf that is marked with a cross to symbolize the Crucifixion of Christ. Another variation is to tuck hard-boiled colored Easter eggs into the bread’s folds.
0.7 oz (20 grams) fresh yeast
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp (200 ml) tepid milk
4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (75 grams) butter, melted
3 egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg for egg wash
1/3 cup (75 grams) sugar
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
4 tbsp (60 grams) raisins
1 tbsp dark rum
In a small bowl combine half of the milk with 1 teaspoon of sugar and yeast. Stir and leave to proof in a warm place until it doubles in volume and becomes frothy. In the meantime, pour rum over raisins and set aside to soak.
Using a stand mixer, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon and orange zest. Mix on medium speed using a hook attachment until the dough comes together into a ball. Add the raisins and rum and continue mixing on slow speed for 4-5 minutes or until you get a firm dough. Shape into a ball and transfer to a large clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let it rise for 2 hours in a warm and draft free place.
Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured working surface and punch out the air. Cut the dough in half and form each half into a ball. Transfer the dough balls onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush both loaves with egg wash and let them rise in a warm place for 1 hour. After an hour brush the loaves again with egg wash and let them rise for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). After 1 hour, brush the loaves with egg wash again. Using a very sharp knife or scissors, make three deep cuts in the surface of each loaf (similar to a cross).
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and keep on room temperature wrapped in a kitchen towel.
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My inclination towards food and everything related to it became obvious as early as my toddler years. I would always grab any visible bits of food and walk around happily chewing away. As I was growing up, food always seemed to be a big part of our family life. Whether a quiet week-day meal, a birthday celebration or a holiday, the importance of a home cooked and comforting meal was always cherished in our family. It is therefore not unusual that I developed an even stronger passion for food, cooking and discovering new flavor combinations when I grew up. When I started a food blog on a whim a few years ago, I had no idea that it will help me evolve not only as a cook and recipe developer, but also as a food stylist and photographer. My passion towards food grew into passion for food photography, which is slowly taking the lead and becoming my primary field of interest. My blog, BakeNoir.com, is a blend of food, art, photography, travel and all the good things in life.