Sirnica is kind of traditional Dalmatian sweet bread that was on every table during the holiest Catholic holiday of Easter. In the past it was not possible to buy all kinds of sweets as today. People worked in the fields and engaged in agriculture and similar activities, so Easter Sirnica (sweet bread) was of great importance. The very word Sirnica (literally means cheese) confuses many with its name because it does not contain cheese, it got its name because of the curdled dough from which it was made before, because yeast was not used at that time.
The Sirnica got that nice yellow color from the large number of eggs they were baked with. During Lent the eggs were not eaten so it would be replenished through Sirnica. Also, before, Sirnica has been baked only during Easter time, while today, you can find them in all bakeries already after the New Year's celebration.
You can get the real aroma, softness and atmosphere only from the home oven, so we bring you the recipe.
1 kg of flour
25 deg of sugar
1 vanilla sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons rum
25 deg of fat
80 g of fresh yeast
2 dl milk
lemon and orange zest
1 egg white
First mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl: all-purpose flour, pinch of salt, 250g sugar, and vanilla sugar, mix and make a hollow in the middle.
Add fresh yeast, tap a little with your hands and add warm milk. Leave it to stand for about ten minutes, then mix and start adding the remaining ingredients: rum, melted fat, orange and lemon zest and finally eggs. Mix it all well until you get nice thick dough.
Cover the dough with a cloth and leave it on a warm place for about an hour and a half. After an hour and a half the dough has doubled. we will mix it and repeat the process, cover it and leave it to rise, for another hour. Mix it again, and once more leave it, but this time for half an hour. After the whole process the dough is ready.
Place the dough on a flat surface and divide it into 6 equal parts. Shape each piece into a bun and place in a baking pan. Use scissors to make small cuts, for better baking and a more beautiful final look of Sirnica.
Coat the buns with egg whites, and decorate them with sugar.
Now just bake it at 180 degrees Celsius, for half an hour to 40 minutes.
That’s it - traditional Dalmatian soft aromatic Easter bread is served. In Croatia we say Dobar tek, Enjoy your meal. If you need more help or want to see how we did it, check the video below.