Sweet Easter Muffins with Green Figs

Stanislava Dimitrova
How it's made: 

The Sweet Easter bread seems to be a culinary challenge for many. Indeed, it requires some experience in dough making, but mostly, it requires patience and devotion. That's why, today I will prepare sweet easter muffins, a recipe much easier to make and almost impossible to go wrong with.

Dissolve the yeast in 2-3 tablespoons of lukewarm milk, 1 tablespoon of sifted flour and a pinch of sugar. Let is rest in warm place. Meanwhile, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and beat them well. Sift the flour twice in a large bowl, add a pinch of salt, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla and stir to blend well. Make a well and pour the egg yolks, milk, egg whites and yeast mixture. Mix the ingredients until you get soft and sticky dough. Knead and twist as you add the oil, until all the fat is well absorbed by the dough. Cover the dough and let it rest and rise. In order to ensure smooth fermentation process, keep the dough at 30-35℃.

When it doubles its volume, turn it onto an oiled working surface and knead again. Then, again, let it rest and rise. This recipe produces softer dough. That's why it is advisable to use bread or cake forms to bake it. In this case, I used muffin forms.

When the dough doubles it's size again, knead it shortly on well oiled surface and separate it into equal size dough balls (around the size of an egg). Knead every dough ball, then pat it into a 5 inch circle. Place a whole green fig in it, wrap it with dough, twist the top and place it in the coated with oil muffin form. When all the forms are filled, brush the muffins with egg yolk mixed with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Let them rest and rise again. The mixture yields about two dozens of muffins.

Bake them at 350 ℉. To make sure the muffins are done, gently poke them with a wooden stick. If it comes out dry, take them out of the oven.

You can stuff the muffins with nut mix, jam, chocolate or anything else you like. I personally love the flavor of the green figs.

Shopping list: 
1 pound all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 of the yeast cube (15 gr.)
1 tablespoon vanilla
pinch of salt
lemon zest from 1 lemon
1 jar of green fig jam
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