Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe

Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe

Sweet Bread Recipe

Another sweet bread recipe from traditional Armenian cuisine : Easter bread called Katnahunc. The name came from Armenian words “kat”, means milk and “huncel” which means knead. The two main ingredients for the dough. Traditional Katnahunc is a braided round shaped sweet bread.Circle shape of the bread signifies Jesus Christ’s Halo and it’s mainly baked on Easter. My version of this sweet bread recipe is slightly different from our traditional, but I can assure it’s equally delicious, very soft, fluffy inside with a crispy crust on the outside. I always have Katnahunc topped and surrounded with dyed eggs on our Easter table as a beautiful and symbolic centerpiece. I hope you guys try this recipe and enjoy a wonderful Easter with your families.

Happy baking!

Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe


Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe

1 cup warm milk, I use full fat

3 large eggs, separated, save one egg white for egg wash, the rest will go onto the bread

50 grams (half stick) melted unsalted butter ( or clarified butter)

4 tbs granulated sugar

1 pack (7 grams) instant dry yeast, if using active dry yeast be sure to activate it in warm milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Zest of one lemon, about 1 tbs

3 ½ cups all purpose flour

Additionally you will need about 1-2 tbs white sesame seeds to sprinkle the top

1 tbs oil for greasing the bowl

Lined baking pan

Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe

Optionally you can use spices such as:

¼ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp cardamom or nutmeg

1 cup chopped walnuts or dried fruits ( raisins, chopped plums or apricots)

Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe


Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe

In a large bowl combine: milk, eggs, butter, sugar, lemon zest

Give it a quick mix and start adding the yeast, 3 cups of flour and salt

The dough should be loose, so mix it with a wooden spoon

Cover with plastic and set in a warm draft free place to rise

Tip* I place the bowl in another larger bowl filled with lukewarm water, for faster rise

In 35-45 minutes the dough should rise and look bubbly

Start adding the rest of flour, mixing with a spoon, switch to hand kneading when the dough starts to form a ball

Flour your work surface and gently knead the dough, add flour as needed to help you knead without too much sticking

Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough for second rise, about 1 hour or until doubled in size

Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe

Shaping of the bread

Place the dough onto your working surface, gently knead to remove the air

Divide into 2 portions: big and small, smaller portion should be half of the size of the big one

Start from the large portion: divide into 3 even parts, roll out each part into 24”-26” long strips and braid

Bring the tips together and seal, forming a circle or a heart shape

Place it on the lined baking pan and repeat the same with the remaining dough

Lightly brush the top of the first layer of braided dough with beaten egg white and place the second braid on top

Egg wash will seal the braids together

Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rise another 20-25 minutes

At this point you can preheat the oven to 375° F/190° C degrees

Egg wash the bread with the remaining of the egg white, sprinkle with sesame seeds

Bake 25-28 minutes or until the crust is bright golden color

Allow to cool down on a cooling rack for 15-25 minutes before slicing


Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe

Note* since the bread is homemade and no preservatives are used, it may have dry texture the next day, I usually save  leftovers the same day it was baked

Simply wrap with a cling plastic, then with a foil, place in the freezer and save up to two weeks

Take out,thaw ,slightly reheat in the oven and it’ll take like freshly baked

Armenian Easter Sweet Bread Recipe


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