Mom's Awesome Bohemian Houska (Braided Bread)
2 CUPS MILK (SCALDED)
3 EGGS (1 IS FOR BRUSHING THE BREAD BEFORE BAKING)
½ CUP SUGAR
1 STICK OF BUTTER MELTED
6 CUPS FLOUR
2 TSP. SALT
½ TSP MACE (spice)
1 CUP RAISINS
½ CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS
1 PKG. YEAST DISSOLVED IN ¼ CUP WARM WATER
½ OF A LEMON RIND GRATED
Measure the dry ingredients ~ sugar, salt, mace & lemon rind together and set aside.
Rinse raisins in water and strain. Set aside before mixing them in the dough later on.
Put 4 cups of flour in a separate bowl. Add the melted butter, scalded milk, 2 eggs, yeast mixed with water and the dry ingredients that were set aside earlier. Beat with electric beater. Then, add the rest of the flour gradually and beat by hand.
Add the rinsed raisins and nuts. The raisins will pop out of the dough if it’s stiff enough. If not, add more flour. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles, which is around 2 hours.
Divide the dough into:
•9 parts for one LARGE bread. Each part needs to be rolled out in the shape of a long stick. There will be 4 for the bottom braid, 3 in the middle braid and 2 twisted for the top. To braid 4 for the bottom, braid the 3 on the right side and then flip the left one under each twist.
•10 parts for two SMALL breads. Each bread will use 5 parts. I take 3 for the bottom and braid them and then 2 for the top and twist them.
Let the bread rise again. Then, beat 1 egg and brush the bread with the egg and bake.
LARGE BREAD: Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 min. and then 350 degrees for 45 min.
SMALL BREADS: Bake at 400 degrees for 5-7 min. and then 350 degrees for 25-30 min.
Pairs Well With
This recipe came from my Mom, Elsie Prerost. Growing up, she made these breads every Easter and Christmas for our family and several of her friends. It's one of the many Czech recipes she taught me to continue passing on our Czech heritage. I would like to submit this recipe and carry it on in her honor!
Submitted by: "Susie Laird"