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Czech Christmas Hoska

Rated as 4.75 out of 5 Stars

"Traditional Czechoslovakian Christmas Bread. Serve with butter. Some people toast it, use jelly, or even butter and powdered sugar...depending upon local customs and family preference. It is a day-long project, but well worth the effort."
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5 h 30 m servings 177
Original recipe yields 30 servings (2 large loaves)


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  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add beaten egg and salt. Stir in cooled milk and then the yeast. Add 1 1/2 cups sifted flour; beat into a smooth batter. Cover and let rise until light, about one hour.
  3. Stir spices and dried orange zest into the sponge. Add 4 1/2 cups of flour to make a soft dough. Place on a lightly floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic. Knead in raisins and candied peel. Put in a well oiled bowl, and turn once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover. Set aside to rise until double in bulk, about 2 hours.
  4. Divide dough into ten parts, roll into desired lengths, and let rise about 15 minutes.
  5. On a heavily greased baking sheet, make a braid of three parts, beginning in the center and working braid loosely toward each end. Pinch ends together. Twist the remaining two pieces together, and place on the base of the braid. In a small bowl, beat together egg yolk and milk; brush the loaf with this mixture. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the loaf. Repeat process for second loaf. Let rise about 45 minutes.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Transfer bread to a wire rack, and cool completely. Cover while cooling with a tea towel to make a soft crust. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 177 calories; 4.9 29.4 4 22 110 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 11
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I haven't made this version yet because I use my own family's recipe, but this is truly a great bread. The braided shape is quite pretty and I've always gotten compliments when I've shared loav...

it took a long time to make this bread. No joke when they say an all day affair, but it was worth EVERY minute. Not only was it amazingly delicious, it was beautiful! Of course I adjusted the...

Hi, I am Czech and we caled it "VÁNOCKA" (Christmas houska). I really like it.

This is delicious! My husband, who does not care for cakes without cream at all, annihilated half of it. This cake would be one of my regular festive (and non-festive as well) cakes.

I wish I could give it 10 stars. Too good.....I used half whole wheat flour.

Very nice and moist - as good as the one Mom used to make.

This makes two large delicious Christmas bread loaves. Great recipe and authentic! Thank you for sharing.

It was brilliant. I braided mine and took it to our company Christmas party. People liked it because of how the crumb was and it's not to sweet, but just sweet enough with a bit of butter. I'll ...