Kozinjak Recipe

Explore the authentic Macedonian Kozinjak recipe, a sweet bread that embodies tradition and taste. Make this cultural delight at home today!



  • Cuisine: Macedonian
  • Category: Dessert, Bread
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 150 calories

Kozinjak, a traditional Macedonian sweet bread, is a beloved delicacy that holds a special place in Macedonian cuisine and culture. This festive bread is often associated with significant celebrations, with Easter being a particularly common occasion for its preparation. Kozinjak is more than just a treat; it carries deep cultural and symbolic significance in Macedonian traditions.

The bread is a symbol of prosperity and the hope for a better future. Its braided or round shape is often seen as a representation of unity and the cyclical nature of life. During Easter, Kozinjak is not only a delightful culinary creation but also an integral part of religious rituals, signifying the end of Lent and the resurrection of Christ.

Kozinjak is enriched with flavors of citrus, thanks to the zesty notes of lemon and orange, and it may also feature the delightful crunch of walnuts and the sweetness of raisins. Its soft, fluffy texture and golden crust make it an irresistible treat.

Whether served with a cup of coffee or as part of a festive Easter meal, Kozinjak remains a symbol of tradition, togetherness, and the joy of sharing a cherished recipe passed down through generations. It's not just a bread; it's a cultural emblem that brings people together to celebrate life's most important moments.


Discover the rich flavors of Macedonian tradition with our delectable Kozinjak recipe – a sweet bread that's a cultural celebration on a plate!


  • 500g all-purpose flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 packet (7g) active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk (for egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon milk (for egg wash)

Method Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk with a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture. Mix until it forms a sticky dough.
  3. Add the eggs, softened butter, lemon zest, and orange zest to the dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it's smooth and elastic. If using, fold in the chopped walnuts and raisins.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  6. After the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Shape it into a round or braided loaf, or even smaller individual buns.
  7. Place the shaped dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Brush the top of the bread with the egg wash.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes or until it's golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  10. Let the kozinjak cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Recipe Video


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Recipe Tags: Kozinjak, Kozinjak Recipe, Recipe


Serving Kozinjak is a delightful experience, and it's often enjoyed on special occasions, particularly during Easter. Here's how to serve Kozinjak:

  1. Sliced or Whole: You can serve Kozinjak as a whole loaf or slice it into individual portions. The choice is yours, but slicing it into rounds or wedges is a common practice, especially if you have a large loaf.
  2. Accompaniments: Kozinjak is delicious on its own, but you can enhance the experience with various accompaniments. It pairs well with a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of milk. You can also serve it with spreads like butter, jam, or honey for added flavor.
  3. Decorations: To make the presentation more festive, you can decorate the serving platter with fresh fruit, flowers, or greenery, especially during Easter when Kozinjak is a centerpiece of the table.
  4. Easter Tradition: If you're serving Kozinjak during Easter, it's often blessed in church and then shared with family and friends as a symbol of the holiday. It's customary to exchange pieces of Kozinjak with loved ones as a sign of goodwill and unity.
  5. Gift Idea: Kozinjak also makes for a thoughtful and traditional gift. You can wrap it in decorative paper or place it in a decorative basket to present to someone as a symbol of celebration and goodwill.


  1. Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality ingredients, especially when it comes to flour, as it forms the foundation of the bread's flavor and texture.
  2. Yeast Activation: Ensure that the yeast is active and fresh. When dissolving the yeast in warm milk, make sure the milk is not too hot, as it can kill the yeast. It should be warm to the touch but not scalding.
  3. Kneading: Kneading the dough is crucial for achieving a soft and elastic texture. Knead for at least 10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Rising Time: Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place. You can preheat your oven slightly, turn it off, and place the dough in it with the door ajar for a controlled warm environment.
  5. Optional Ingredients: Feel free to get creative with the optional ingredients. You can add chopped walnuts and raisins for extra flavor and texture. Some variations also include candied fruit.
  6. Egg Wash: The egg wash gives Kozinjak its beautiful golden color. Brush it on just before baking for that appealing finish.
  7. Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the bread while it's in the oven. Bake until it's golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Baking time can vary depending on your oven, so adjust as needed.
  8. Cooling: Allow the Kozinjak to cool on a wire rack before slicing. This helps maintain its texture and prevents it from becoming gummy.
  9. Experiment: Don't be afraid to experiment with the recipe. You can adjust the sweetness, add different flavors, or even shape it uniquely to make it your own while still preserving the essence of this beloved Macedonian treat.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you need to substitute ingredients in the Macedonian Kozinjak recipe due to dietary restrictions or ingredient availability, here are some possible substitutions:

  1. All-Purpose Flour: You can substitute all-purpose flour with bread flour, whole wheat flour, or gluten-free flour if you have dietary preferences or restrictions.
  2. Sugar: You can use alternative sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. Keep in mind that this may alter the flavor slightly.
  3. Active Dry Yeast: If you don't have active dry yeast, you can use instant yeast. You can also use fresh yeast, although you'll need to adjust the quantity. Generally, 1 packet of active dry yeast is roughly equivalent to 2 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast.
  4. Unsalted Butter: If you prefer a dairy-free option, you can use margarine or a dairy-free butter substitute. Coconut oil can also work, although it may add a coconut flavor.
  5. Warm Milk: If you don't consume dairy, you can use plant-based milk like almond, soy, or oat milk. Make sure it's warm to activate the yeast.
  6. Eggs: For an egg-free version, you can use egg substitutes like applesauce, mashed bananas, or commercial egg replacers. Keep in mind that this may affect the texture slightly.
  7. Lemon and Orange Zest: If you don't have lemons or oranges, you can use other citrus fruits like limes or tangerines for zest. You can also use citrus extracts or essential oils in small quantities for flavor.
  8. Walnuts and Raisins: These are optional ingredients, and you can omit them or replace them with other nuts like almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts. Dried cranberries, apricots, or other dried fruits can be used instead of raisins.
  9. Egg Yolk and Milk for Egg Wash: If you don't want to use egg wash, you can brush the bread with milk or a milk alternative to achieve a golden finish.


Bringing the heart of Macedonian culture to your kitchen, Kozinjak is more than bread; it's a celebration of tradition and togetherness. Share the joy!

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