Wedding round loaf of bread

karavayToday we are going to cook the Ukrainian round loaf of bread for a wedding. It is the first bread which newlyweds should taste together.

Parents-in-law present this round loaf on a Ukrainian embroidered towel. The parents meet the happy pair with bread and salt (a traditional Slavic greeting) thereby wishing welfare, happiness and a quiet life.

Anciently the round loaf was served before the guests began the feast. In modern traditions the betrothed pair break off the pieces of the round loaf. Who has the biggest piece – would be the man of the house. The remaining round loaf is cut into portions and the engaged couple treat their guests.

From then onward many years had passed. But in our time the “bread is the staff of life”. A modern round loaf is also decorated with ears of wheat or twigs of guilder rose which are the symbols of wealth and health. The round loaf is the sun embodiment, the well-being and prosperity attribute. None of the newborn families could dispense with it.

Ingredients:

  • 10 g dry yeast
  • 300 ml milk
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g dairy butter
  • 750 g wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Accompaniment

  • 250 g wheat flour
  • 3 eggs

Cooking

Predough

Preheat milk to 37 - 38°C. Add dry yeast and 2 tbsp of sugar. Mix everything and put in 4 tbsp of wheat flour.svadba-karavay-01

You should get the mass the consistence of which will be similar to the one of sour cream. Put it in a warm place for 40-45 minutes.

Leave 1 tbsp of milk for spreading of the round loaf. Dissolve dairy butter, salt and sugar in the remaining milk (heat it beforehand). Set it aside for a while (the temperature of milk should remain 37°C).

Meanwhile the prepared predough increased in size and swelled. Let’s begin to knead the dough. Whip the eggs slightly (leave 1 yolk for spreading of the round loaf) and add them to the predough. Then put 2 glasses of flour and mix the ingredients. Then pour the prepared milk with butter and add the remaining flour. Knead the dough for 20 minutes. You should get the sticky and slightly watery dough.

At the end you will get the homogeneous and straight dough. Cover it with a natural linen napkin in order to let the dough to “breath”. Leave it for one and a half hour.

Accompaniment

We need only 2 ingredients – a white of the egg and wheat flour, the proportion of which is 1:2. Combine 125 g of the white of the egg and 250 g of flour. Mix until you get the straight dough. Please be aware that this type of dough can quickly become hard. That’s why the decorations should be formed rapidly. The dough which isn’t used at the moment should be put in a plastic packet. Whenever necessary it is taken out and a piece of it is torn. The decorations could be any. You can model roses, spikelets, leaves, cornflowers, etc.

Dough

All the while the dough increased in 2,5 – 3 times. Now the most interesting part begins. Form and decorate the round loaf. karavaj-na-svadbu-dan-tradicii-1

Place the dough in a spring form covered with baking paper. Shape the dough in the form of a loaf. Then put it in a warm place for 20 minutes. Combine the yolk and 1 tbsp of milk. Spread the round load with the prepared mixture all around. Fix the decorations by the help of a toothpick. Don’t spread the decorations! In other way they could burn.

Preheat an oven to 200°C. Place the wedding round loaf in the oven. Bake it at 200°C for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 170°C and bake it for 40 minutes. If the round loaf begins to redden, cover it with a foil.

Your wedding round loaf is done!

Enjoy your meal!

Do you have a favorite Ukrainian recipe for a Ukrainian round loaf of bread for a wedding? If so, please let us know in the comments below or write us an e-mail.

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