Somun (Slavic Egg Bread)

This recipe is for Bosnian Muslim version of egg bread, a traditional Slavic bread usually baked at the vernal equinox.

2 packages active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup warm water
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups lukewarm milk, scalded
¼ cup softened butter or ghee
7 to 7 ½ cups flour
¼ cup sugar

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Stir in all ingredients except 3½ cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in the enough remaining flour to make the dough pliable and easy to knead. Turn the dough on a lightly floured board. Knead until shiny and smooth like a baby’s skin. Grease a bowl and place the dough into it. Rub oil on the dough, cover, and let it rise until it doubles in size. Punch down the dough. Divide in half to form two loaves. Place seam side down in two greased nine-inch loaf pans. Cover and let the dough rise until double, usually about an hour. Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

If you are pregnant, bake the egg bread during each month of your pregnancy. If you are trying to become pregnant, make the egg bread when you are ovulating. If you are menopausal, bake the egg bread on the date of your birth each month of the year. The kneading of the dough is a metaphor for moving through maternal fright, and making the dough shiny and smooth as a baby’s bottom signifies a female’s ability to give birth and manifest the intangible. Punching the dough signifies punching through fear and violence into new possibilities. The double rising of the bread dough shows the possibility of abundance and the “pregnancy” of the creative process.