Mucenici is a traditional holiday in Romania and Moldova on the 9th of March; it celebrates spring and the new spring brings. The legend says that the Martyrs (The Mucenici) were soldiers drowned by the roman emperor Licinius and that the 8 shape symbolises the human body.
Mucenici is a type of bread that is soft and perfumed, glazed with honey and sprinkled with crushed walnuts.
To prepare mucenici, you will need:
- half a kilo of flour
- a cup of milk (you can use water or soy milk if you’re vegan)
- 25g fresh yeast
- the peel of a small orange
- half a cup of olive oil
- 5 spoons of sugar
- a pinch of salt
First of all prepare the fresh yeast: warm the milk and mix it with a spoon of sugar, then incorporate the fresh yeast in it. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, while you grate the orange.
Put all your flour into a large bowl and make a crater in the middle. Pout the milk and yeast, the rest of sugar, the salt, the grated orange peel and the oil altogether.
Then mix well, for around 5 minutes, until the dough stops sticking to your fingers.
Then pre-heat your oven at 180 degrees celsius (350 F) and shape into small eight-shapes pieces.
When you arrange them in the baking tray, make sure you leave a bit of space between them, as they will rise a bit more in the oven.
Bake for around 30 minutes or until golden on top.
While they cool down a bit, warm up some honey and brush the mucenici with plenty of it. The more layers you put, the more syrupy they’ll be. Sprinkle crumbled walnuts of over and pour yourself a nice cup of coffee to go with it.