1/3 Photos of Vanocka - Vánoèka - Czech Christmas Bread
2 hrs 40 mins
The vanocka is part of the Christmas holidays in Czechoslovakia, whether made at home or bought in a store. At one time in history, vánoèka could only be made by a baker who was a guild craftsman. Preparing a vanocka isn't simple and therefore a variety of customs were once followed in preparing, braiding and baking the dough to ensure success. The woman of the house had to mix the dough while wearing a white apron and kerchief, she shouldn't talk, and she was supposed to jump up and down while the dough was rising. Another old custom was to bake in a coin (much like a King cake). The person who found it in their slice was assured of health and wealth for all of the following year. A burnt or ripped vanocka was a bad omen. Preparation time approximate.
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- 1 compressed yeast cakes or 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup water, warm
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs
- 5 1/2-6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk, warm
- 1 teaspoon lemon peel, finely shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1 cup light raisins
- 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 1Soften yeast in warm water.
- 2In a mixer bowl, beat together sugar, margarine, and salt.
- 3Add eggs and beat well.
- 4Beat in 1 cup of flour.
- 5Beat in milk, lemon peel, mace, and yeast mixture.
- 6Stir in as much remaining flour as you can with a spoon.
- 7Stir in raisins and nuts.
- 8Turn out onto floured surface.
- 9Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes total).
- 10Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface.
- 11Cover, let rise in warm place till double; divide in half.
- 12Divide one portion of the dough into fourths for the bottom braid.
- 13Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
- 14Meanwhile, divide the remaining dough into 5 portions for the other two layers of the dough.
- 15Cover those portions and set aside.
- 16On a lightly floured surface, form each of the first 4 portions into 16-inch long ropes.
- 17On a greased baking sheet, arrange the 4 ropes, 1 inch apart.
- 18Beginning in the middle of the ropes, braid together toward each end.
- 19To braid 4 ropes, overlap the center 2 ropes to form an X.
- 20Take the outside left rope and cross over the closest middle rope.
- 21Then, take the outside right rope and cross under the closest middle rope.
- 22Repeat braiding until you reach the end.
- 23Pinch ends together; tuck under.
- 24Turn baking sheet and braid on opposite end.
- 25Gently pull width of braid out slightly.
- 26Form remaining 5 portions into 16-inch long ropes.
- 27Braid 3 of the ropes together.
- 28Brush the 4-strand braid with water and center the second braid on top; gently pull width of top braid out.
- 29Twist the remaining two ropes of dough together.
- 30Brush the top braid with water; place the twist on top of the second braid.
- 31Cover the shaped dough and let rise till nearly double.
- 32While loaves are rising, preheat oven to 350°F.
- 33Brush surface of the shaped dough with egg yolk.
- 34Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes.
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Nutritional Facts for Vanocka - Vánoèka - Czech Christmas Bread
Serving Size: 1 (1461 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 4170.7
- Calories from Fat 793
- Total Fat 88.1 g
- Saturated Fat 20.8 g
- Cholesterol 572.1 mg
- Sodium 5678.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 737.9 g
- Dietary Fiber 30.4 g
- Sugars 164.5 g
- Protein 110.9 g