Christmas Recipes

Photo: Radio Praha International

2. Vánočka

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of medium flour
  • 9 teaspoons of sugar
  • 4 ounces of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of yeast
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 yolk
  • a pinch of salt
  • vanilla sugar
  • a lemon rind
  • a nutmeg nut
  • star anise
  • 3 tablespoons of raisins
  • 3 tablespoons of almonds
  • an egg for the icing 
Crumble the yeast into the room-temperature milk, add in 1 tablespoon of sugar, sprinkle evenly with flour, and then leave it in a warm place to rise. Put the rest of the flour, 8 tablespoons of sugar, the vanilla sugar, a pinch of salt, the lemon rind, the grated nut of nutmeg, one egg yolk, and the grated star anise into a bowl with the previous mixture when well-risen and mix well. After this, add in the softened butter and continue to mix well. When the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, stir in the washed raisins and the cleaned, sliced almonds. Shape the dough in the bowl into a smooth loaf, dust it with flour, and leave it covered in a warm place to rise (with a larger amount of dough even all night.)

When the dough has risen completely, divide it on a pastryboard into 9 parts to make the vanocka. The first layer is weaved from four strands, the second from three, and the third layer from two strands. Lay greased parchment paper on a baking sheet and gradually layer the strands of the vánočka on it. Leave it for a while on the sheet to finish rising, and then, before putting it in the oven, baste it with the whipped egg and sprinkle it with chopped almonds. Finally, puncture the vánočka at both ends and in the middle with skewers to prevent warping of the dough during baking. Bake slowly for about 45 minutes.

Photo: archive of Eva Turečková
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