Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tutmanik - Bulgarian Cheese Bread with the BBB

For this month, our host kitchen gives us a recipe from Bulgaria; a savory cheese bread.  She found the recipe in Jane Mason's cookbook, The Book of Buns.  This was a nice dough to work with, some of the babes found that it needed more liquid than called for to be workable, but I did not find that the case.  I did reduce the flour by 10g, but that's hardly anything.  I used the rest periods recommended in the book, as well as an additional 5 minutes rest after the first mix.  I think that helped with the initial dryness of the dough.  After incorporating the butter, it became deliciously smooth and supple.  It smelled absolutely divine while baking.  For the filling, I used a French sheep's milk feta as the closest I could get to the Bulgarian style.
Sirene is a Feta style brined cheese made in South-Eastern Europe, particularly popular in Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece and also in Israel. It is also known as “white brine sirene” or Bulgarian Feta.
Also added some goat cheese crumbles to get enough, though I found with my shaping method, I did not need the full amount of filling.  We checked the garden and decided to add some lime thyme, which smelled delicious!  I wish I would have had more than a tbsp though, the feta is pretty assertive.

The shaping in the book is much simpler than this, multiple layers of dough and filling in a square or round pan.  You can also find various shaping methods online.  Here is the video for the curled twist form that I used.  Delicious served warm, as an accompaniment to a meal.

We'd love for you to try it out and share your results with us!  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to the host kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see most of the Babes' baking results during that time.

from Jane Mason's "Tootmanik s Gotovo Testo"
makes 9 large or 16 small buns

450 g (3 2/3 cups) all purpose flour
2 g (1 1/8 tsp) instant yeast
250 g (1 cup) milk, scalded and cooled
9 g (2 ¼ tsp) salt
100 g (6 ½ tbsp) butter, softened

1 egg
200 g (8 oz) feta cheese, crumbled (Bulgarian feta if you can find it)
50 g (3 tbsp) butter melted and cooled
paprika, fresh ground pepper, optional
fresh herb(s), optional

glaze: 1 egg and 1 tsp water

Measure the flour into a bowl or stand mixer.  Press a well into the flour and sprinkle with the yeast.  Pour the milk into the well and cover with the edges of the flour.  Let rest for an hour.

Add the salt and gather everything into a rough ball in the bowl.  Knead on the counter for 10 minutes or with a dough hook for 5 minutes.  Once the flour is mostly incorporated, let it rest for a few minutes to hydrate, then knead for another minute or so.  Add the softened butter in slowly and knead for another 10 minutes until smooth, supple, and shiny.  (My dough was still slightly shaggy when I started adding the butter.)  Put the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rest for 2 hours.

Mix the egg, feta, and optional herbs in a bowl and set aside.  Melt the 50g butter and let cool.  (I used 25g very soft butter to spread instead of melting it for my shaping method.)  Place the dough on an unfloured surface.

Divide dough into 9 equal pieces.  Let rest for 10 minutes under a towel.  Grease and line a 9in. square pan.

Flour the surface and roll one piece into approximately 22x22cm or 8.5x8.5in square.  Brush with melted butter.  Repeat this with a second piece of dough, place it on top of the first and brush again with butter.  Take a third piece and roll it out as before.  Place it on the stack but do not brush with butter.  Move the stack to the prepared pan by rolling it up onto a rolling pin.  Center in the pan and now brush it with butter and half of the filling mixture.

Repeat this process with three more pieces of dough and the remaining filling.

Roll out and butter the final three pieces of dough, leaving the top sheet un-buttered.  Place on the stack in the pan.

Push down the edges of the dough very well all around the filling to seal it in.  Cover and let rest for an hour.

Preheat oven to 230ºC (450ºF).  Just before baking brush dough with a little melted butter and paprika, or use the egg glaze.  Place in the oven and turn down heat to 200ºC (400ºF).  Bake for about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool.  Cut into squares while warm, but not hot.  Serve with a salad or soup.


The rest of the Bread Baking Babes:

Here is the approximate nutrition for 1 square or wedge when cut into 16 pieces.  That's half of a single swirl for my shape of tutmanik.


  1. I love your flower!! So ornate! Isn't this bread so delicious?

  2. The ridges on the flower petals are beautiful! It's so nice to see how the bread turns out when it's done properly.

    We did manage to get hold of Bulgarian feta - made with a combination of sheep's and cow's milk. It was spectacular. It isn't as sharp as Greek feta that we've tried and had a really nice lemony flavour. Macedonian feta is really good too - made with cow's milk. Macedonian feta is significantly less sharp than Greek feta. I'd love to try feta in Greece but frankly, I avoid Greek feta here in Canada, simply because Macedonian and now Bulgarian are so much more pleasing.

  3. Wow beautiful! Gorgeous shape. Love the color you get with white flour.
    Lemon Thyme! in your garden sounds just perfect!
    The butter and salt did change the dough dramatically.
    So happy you enjoyed.

  4. Ornate and perfectly done Kelly. Wonderful that you used the Lime thyme from your own garden, too. With the lemony feta that much have been heavenly.

  5. Greetings from Bulgaria!
    It is great you tried Bulgarian recipe and it looks really good!

  6. What a beautiful shape you made, love it. And lemon-thyme is a excellent choice.

  7. @Iliana - Oh I'm so glad you approve! I always wonder how close to the real thing I got when we try something like this. Thank you for the comment!

  8. Your shaping is gorgeous! And lime thyme? I haven't heard of that... Now I have to find it for my herb garden.

  9. I loved the way you shaped your Tootmanik! The flower is so very festive!

  10. Helpful information. Lucky me I found your website unintentionally, and I'm stunned why
    this twist of fate didn't came about in advance!
    I bookmarked it.


Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you! If you have any questions I will do my level best to answer them for you.