🇧🇬 Bulgaria: Pitka

This special bread called Pitka is served around Christmas and is the queen of the festive holiday table in Bulgaria. It assumes various appearances depending on how you arrange the dough but is always as pretty as it is delicious. Traditionally, Pitka is served warm and the oldest person in the house shares a piece with each guest. The first piece is set aside for the Virgin Mary, the second piece is for the house, and the rest is distributed to family members and guests. Of course, whoever gets the coin is destined for the greatest luck and happiness in the coming year.

“This festive Christmas bread is the taste of home. The recipe has been passed down through generations and each family has its own secret way of preparing it. The moment when it is served on the table is a moment of respect and gratitude that the family is together and the table is full.”

For the full experience, play this traditional tune while prepping the recipe!

🇧🇬 Bulgaria: Pitka – Bulgarian Christmas Bread

Servings 12
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 packets dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 7 ½ cups flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 egg yolk


  • Warm up the milk, dissolve the yeast into the milk and mix in the sugar. Wait 15 minutes for the yeast to work its magic.
  • Add the eggs, salt, oil, and yogurt and mix until smooth. Incorporate the flour slowly until the dough forms a smooth ball. Set dough aside to rise for about one hour or until doubled in size.
  • Divide the dough into three equal parts. Roll each portion out into a thin circle about 8-9 inches in diameter.
  • Spread the butter onto two of the dough rounds and stack so the non-buttered piece is on top.
  • Roll the dough tightly into a long rope and wind up into a round spiral, like a snail shell.
  • Wrap a coin in aluminum foil and insert it anywhere into the dough.
  • Place the dough into a greased round baking tray and bake at 350°F for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

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