Friday, August 23, 2013

My First Tutmanik

I'm not much of a cook, actually I'm quite bored with everyday cooking. But now and then I come upon a recipe that makes me wonder  - how would it turn out if I try this. And in that spirit of experimenting yesterday I made my first tutmanik - a traditional Bulgarian cheese bread.

There's nothing much about making pastry for cakes or muffins - as long as no kneading is involved, I'm happy to cook pastry. But making dough is another story altogether. Set aside bread making machines (I don't have one), look at people making hand-made bread on cooking shows or recipe pictures - everything is neat, the dough is smooth, the kneading area is clean. While me kneading - it's all sticky fingers in a sticky sticky mess :)))

But the children came home yesterday evening from a three weeks exile vacation to their grandma's place, so I thought I'd surprise them with something new. There are many recipes on how to make cheese bread, I followed Rossy's step-by-step instructions and Labrex's notes:

  • 1/2 live yeast
  • 1 spoon of salt (I use Himalayan salt)
  • 1/2 spoon of sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white (the egg yolk + 1 spoon of oil + 1 spoon of yogurt make the glazing of the bread)
  • 250 g yogurt
  • 150 g milk
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 250 g cheese
  • 50 g of melted butter


The core about preparing this cheese bread is that after the dough is ready, it is cut in three or more balls. The balls are spread into sheets, then covered with melted butter and cheese (except for the last sheet) and placed on top of each other. Then the whole pile of sheets is again spread to a sheet of 1 cm thick, it is again covered with melted butter and cheese, rolled and then wound into a snail shape and placed in the baking tin. After the dough doubles its size, it's covered with  the glazing and baked at 180C.

Mine is not as threaded as those in the recipes of the culinary experts, but it was still very delicious when we dined with it in the evening, spiced with traditional mixed spices and served with ayran.
A very traditional dinner we had :)


  1. What a great mum you are and wow, childless for 3 weeks? What a treat!

  2. Looks delicious!

    Yeah, it took me some time to get to dough with yeast, too, but it is worth the effort.
    Hope to find a good tutmanik when I come to Sofia in September. Any suggestions?

    1. Thank you, Lily! There are many places in town, where they make and sell tutmanik, two come to mind immediately on Graf Ignatiev St. However I find it a bit too greasy and less cheesy to my taste :))