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Total Time
2hrs 30mins
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 30 mins

This recipe for Polish chałka is a braided egg bread, raisins optional. Akin to Bohemian-Czech hoska, Jewish challah and French brioche, chalka is served year-round, but especially during the holidays. If you have any leftover chalka, it makes delicious French toast or bread pudding with orange sauce or poppyseeds. Courtesy of Barbara Rolek

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Heat the milk to lukewarm; add melted butter, sugar and salt.
  2. Stir to combine and let cool to about 110°F
  3. Add yeast and warm water in mixing bowl and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 2 eggs and stir to combine.
  5. Add 3 cups flour and beat until smooth.
  6. Add the raisins and remaining flour and mix, 3 to 5 minutes until smooth. (Dough will be sticky)
  7. Place dough in greased bowl.
  8. Turn over and cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  9. Punch down dough and turn out onto lightly floured board.
  10. If making 1 large loaf, divide dough into 3 equal pieces.
  11. Roll each piece into a strip about 14 inches long, and braid together the 3 strips on a parchment-lined baking pan. (Note: If making 2 loaves, divide dough into 2 equal pieces and then divide each half into 3 equal pieces, for a total of 6 pieces.)
  12. Loosely cover bread and let rise again until double, about 30 minutes.
  13. While bread is rising, preheat oven to 350°F.
  14. Brush remaining beaten egg lightly on bread.
  15. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  16. Let cool completely before serving.
  17. Store, covered, at room temperature or slice and freeze.