Cozonac cu nuci (Romanian Nut Roll)


Romanian Nut Bread

It’s a Christmas Eve tradition. Every year, mom makes Cozonac cu nuci, the night before Christmas. There’s never any left for Santa, cause all the little elves get to it first . . .and they don’t leave one crumb untouched. It is best when it is toasted and spread with butter.

Total time: 5 hoursIMG_1

Yields 6-7 rolls


10 Heaping c. of flour
1/8 c. salt
2 c. sugar, & 1 T
4 c. milk
5 T yeast
1/2 c. waterIMG_2
4 eggs
2 T lemon zest (1 lemon)
1/3 c. oil
1 lb. walnuts


In a big bowl, add:
10 heaping cups of flour
1/8 c.salt
1 c. sugar




Place about 1 quart of milk in a pot over medium heat Bring it to ALMOST a boil.
DO NOT let it boil, keep on low heat or turn off burner until ready to add to mixture


In a mug, add almost 5 T of yeast6
1 T sugar
About 1/2 c. water
Stir well & let sit for about 3 minutes.

Nut Filling:
Finely crush 1 lb. Walnuts. You may use a food processor/blender or a rolling pin.
Mix walnuts with 1 cup of Sugar

Dough (cont.):

In a separate bowl add 4 eggs10
Beat eggs and add to flour mixture
Zest 1 lemon (about 2 T) & add to mixture.
Take milk and yeast in hand.

Over the flour/egg mixture, clean out


the yeast cup with milk but do not add all of milk

Mix with one hand. Begin to knead when ingredients are incorporated.


Add more milk as needed.

In a pan add 1/3 cup oil and let boil

Knead for 15-20 min. (Using “punch-punch fold” method)


Knead until dough is not super sticky

Add hot oil to dough

Carefully fold over dough Knead dough until oil is no longer visible (about 20-30 min.)
Knead until bubbles are visible


When finished with kneading, fold the dough over.
Cover with towel and let sit to rise (about 80 minutes)
Preheat oven to 360 degrees
Oil surface
Take a portion of the dough and roll into a rectangle. Spread the walnut filling over the dough. Roll up the dough, being careful to tuck in the ends so that the filling doesn’t spill out. Brush each loaf with Egg whites
Bake 350 for 35 minutes until big and puffy  and golden brown.



Photo Credit: Mary Rus

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