KORČULANSKA SIRNICA (Easter Bread)
Korčulanska Sirnica is a type of Easter Bread predominantly made during Easter time, and is a tradition that has been kept alive for generations! There will be several takes on this Srnica recipe on the island of Korčula, but the tradition of making Srnica is very much widespread in Dalmatia, and found throughout Croatia.
Keeping certain traditions help us connect with our roots, and foster a sense of community. Making Srnica is a tradition which my Baba’s (Grandmother’s) kept, as well as mother, aunties and so on. The aroma reminds me of a garden richly decorated with vibrant orange and lemon trees.
Sirnica is prepared just before Easter Sunday and is traditionally given a blessing at Church. Sirnica which translates as ‘cheese bread’ (but contains no cheese whatsoever), is round in shape, with a cross carved out on top to symbolise Christ’s passion and suffering.
- 1kg flour
- 6 egg yolks
- 220g sugar
- 1 vanilla sugar packet
- 300ml full cream milk
- 50g fresh yeast
- 1 tbsp salt
- 220g unsalted butter
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Zest of 3 oranges
- 1 tbsp rakija or kruškovac
- 2-3 egg whites
- 1 vanilla sugar packet
- Ensure milk is lukewarm or at room temperature.
- Place the milk (150ml) in a bowl and crumble the yeast on top, stir, add a tsp of sugar and flour. Leave to rise.
- Heat the butter over low heat and let cool down.
- Mix the egg yolks with the 220g of sugar and 1 vanilla sugar packet. (It is ultimately up to you to determine the ideal sugar ratio according to your tastes and requirements). Add the salt, milk and continue to mix.
- Sift the flour slowly adding it to the mix and combine with the yeast mixture and the melted butter.
- Add rakija or kruškovac, lemon and orange zest to the mixture.
- Knead the dough, cover it with a tea towel and leave to rise.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces and create individual ball shapes.
- Place the balls on a baking paper and leave for 2 hours to rise again. Cover with a tea towel. (Alternatively, leave overnight to rise).
- Preheat the oven to 150°c.
- Carve out a cross on top of the individual pieces of dough.
- Bake for 40mins-1 hour.
- Stir 2-3egg whites with 1 vanilla sugar packet for the coating.
- Towards the last 10 minutes of baking, use a brush to coat each Sirnica.
- Sprinkle each Sirnica with a little sugar on top.
- Take the tray out of the oven to cool down.
Korčulanksa Sirnica is just one of the traditional Easter sweet breads baked all over Korčula, an island steeped in tradition and rich cultural heritage. May you enjoy baking the Sirnice just as much as you do sharing it with others!
In the meantime check out this Easter Tic-Tac-Toe DIY.