It's a tradition in Macedonia to prepare kozinjak for Easter. This time, I made 1 braided kozinjak and 2  kozinjak rolls from the same dough. I admit I'm not very skilled at braiding, I've only made kozinjak 2-3 times in my life. Filling is optional, you can just add raisins previously soaked in water so they soften and add them to the dough. I don't like raisins, so I've added filling, I want it to be rich in taste :) Also, I strongly suggest to add mahlep spice if it's available in your place. It gives a great aroma to the kozinjak. If you can't find mahlep, add grind lemon or orange peel. Since I froze kozinjak, I only have pics of the roll how it looks when sliced. I tried it this morning with a cup of coffee, it was soft, spongy and tasty and my home smells beautiful even today from all that beautiful aroma...

  •     about 600 g flour
  •     40 g  fresh yeast
  •     250 ml lukewarm milk
  •     70 g melted butter
  •     2 eggs
  •     120 g sugar   
  •     1 tsp mahlep
  • 250 ml hot milk
  • 200 g sugar
  • 300 g carob or ground poppy seed
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (10 g)
Just mix the ingredients for the filling, if it's too dry, add a little warm water or milk.

For coating:
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar for sprinkling (10 g)
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and add the sugar. Leave it to reach a little.
  2. Mix sifted flour with the yeast and the rest of the ingredients with a mixer for about 10 minutes. Cover with a cloth and allow it to stand as long as it doubles the volume.
  3. Flour the working surface and transfer the dough. Start kneading and if it's sticky, add more flour until it's not being sticky any more, but it must stay soft.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 parts, one for kozinjak and one for the roll.
  5. I first made the roll, stretch a rectangular crust and apply the filling all over the crust and roll. I divided it in 2 parts because it couldn't fit in the baking tray. The tray should be previously coated with butter.
  6. Then, divide the other half of the dough into 3 parts. If you're not adding filling, just stretch the 3 parts into 3 sticks shape and make a braid. If you're adding filling, stretch each part in a long shape, apply filling and wrap it in the ends, then make the braid. 
  7. Cover them with cloth and leave to rise for at least 1 hour.
  8. Before baking, coat when with egg yolk mixed with 1 tbs milk and sprinkle sugar vanilla sugar, poppy seeds or sesame seeds on top.
  9. Bake at 180 C degrees for about 40 minutes. If your oven is strong, put a baking paper over the bread while baking and at half time baking, reduce the heat at 150 C degrees. 
  10. After baking, cover with kitchen towel and leave to cool.