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Aug 16, 2017

Tutmanik | Bulgarian Cheese Bread

This bread is tutmanik. It's an amazingly delicious cheese bread from Bulgaria. Filled with feta and herbs and brushed with layers of melted butter, this bread is so tempting and flavorful.

Tootmanik s Gotovo Testo is a Bulgarian cheese bread. Several layers of bread dough are brushed with butter and spread with feta cheese along with herbs, and then baked into savory and delicious stacks of deliciousness.

Tutmanik, also known as Tootmanik s Gotovo Testo (with pre-made dough) or mesentiza, can be shaped simply, in layers, as I have here, or in fanciful and flowery shapes.

Since this was my first time trying this recipe, I chose to bake this Tootmanik in a nine inch by nine inch square cake pan and not get too fancy. You can also use a round cake pan, or even a baking sheet.

For the herbs, I used a handful of parsley, thyme, and a bit of rosemary. Then I remembered the sun dried tomatoes in the cupboard from this delicious smoked Gouda spread and decided to toss some into the herb and cheese mixture. Excellent choice!

Tootmanik s Gotovo Testo is a Bulgarian cheese bread. Several layers of bread dough are brushed with butter and spread with feta cheese along with herbs, and then baked into savory and delicious stacks of deliciousness.

This month, the Bread Baking Babes are traveling to Bulgaria, with a recipe chosen by Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups. She found the recipe in Jane Mason's amazing cookbook, The Book of Buns.

To quote Jane Mason, "Bulgarian bread is simply astonishing.... "

This bread is delicious warm from the oven. Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat loosely wrapped in foil in the oven or toaster oven. Leftovers are particularly delicious for breakfast.

The warm color on the top of the bread is from the optional paprika, which I totally recommend. I would not skimp on the herbs either. I was a little conservative, but next time I'll be more generous.

After the recipe, be sure to click on the links from the rest of the Babes' versions of the recipe. My fellow Bread Baking Babes are known to get very creative!

Note: While my instructions call for a stand mixer, this bread can easily be kneaded by hand.

Tootmanik s Gotovo Testo Recipe

Tutmanik Recipe



  • 450 grams (3 2/3 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 grams (1 1/8 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 250 grams (1 cup) milk, scalded and cooled to room temperature
  • 6 to 12 tablespoons water
  • 9 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) salt
  • 100 grams (6 1/2 tablespoons) room temperature butter, cut into pieces


  • 1 egg
  • 250 grams (8 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 50 grams (3 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
  • paprika and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, or other herbs)
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes


  • 1 egg plus one tablespoon water, whisked
  • paprika



  1. Add the flour, yeast, and milk to the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead with the dough hook, adding water until all of the flour is absorbed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for an hour.
  2. Add the salt and mix with the dough hook for about 10 minutes, adding additional water as necessary to create a smooth dough.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl of the stand mixer and break it into pieces. Add the dough pieces and the butter pieces back into the bowl and mix with the paddle attachment for a minute or two, until the dough pulls together. Switch back to the dough hook and knead on low for ten more minutes.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise for 2 hours

Filling, assembling, and baking the bread:

  1. Mix together the egg, feta, butter, paprika, pepper, herbs, and sun dried tomatoes.
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl onto an unfloured work surface.
  3. Form the dough into a log and cut it into 9 equal pieces. Cover with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes. In the meantime, line your pan (see note above about pan size) with parchment paper with some of the parchment hanging over the edges of the pan so you can lift the bread out later.
  4. Roll one piece of dough into a 8 or 9 inch square or round. Brush it with some of the melted butter.
  5. Roll a second piece of dough into the same size as the previous piece of dough, and place it onto the first piece of dough. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with a third piece of dough and place it on top of the stack. Roll the stack with a rolling pin to the size of your baking pan and place the dough into your pan. Brush with the melted butter, and top with one half of the feta mixture.
  6. Repeat with the next three pieces of dough and place on top of the first stack. Brush with butter and spread with the rest of the feta mixture.
  7. Repeat with the final three pieces of dough. Using your hands, tuck the top layers of dough at the edges under the bottom layer. Pinch the edges together. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise for one hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Brush the top of the dough with the egg and water glaze mixture, and sprinkle with paprika.
  9. Place the pan in the oven and reduce the oven temperature immediately to 400 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven, and, using the parchment, carefully lift the bread from the pan and place it on a wire rack. remove the parchment. After about 5 to 10 minutes, move the bread to a cutting board and slice into squares. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers to reheat later.
Yield: 12 large or 24 small buns

Recipe adapted from Jane Mason's The Book of Buns

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes' Tootmanik s Gotovo Testo:

Would you like to comment?

  1. this is pure torture. To see the picture, to read the ingredients, to imagine the texture and taste... so close, and yet so far away!

    I need to bake this... I do, I really really do!

    1. Oh Sally, this bread is amazing. Phil and your colleagues would love it!

  2. your loaf is really really perfect, nice and high and a gorgeous colour too!

  3. That colour and filling is just amazing. Truly a beautiful bread!

  4. Ah. If only I had followed your lead and not tried to get too fancy. Your Tutmanik looks beautiful.

    There was a suggestion to sprinkle paprika on top? When WILL I learn to read?!

  5. Well, Karen you've totally nailed it! Perfect loaf.
    I'm with you on the paprika, it really gave the perfect top.
    I did half the dough in a pie pan with the layers like this and then did fancy ... they both taste wonderful and really they both look beautiful.

  6. Your bread looks exactly like what I imagined this bread was to look like...and it sounds quite delicious!

  7. Wow! Perfect little picnic sandwiches! I love seeing it cut and stacked.

    1. Thanks Katie. They are little sandwiches aren't they?

  8. I love your square Tootmanik! These little sandwiches would be perfect for brunch or tea or a picnic.

    1. Thanks Cathy. They're wonderful for a grab and go breakfast too!


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