Houska - Bohemian Christmas Bread
This is a traditional Bohemian Christmas Bread. It's along the same lines of the German Christmas Stollen. Houska is pronounced - "ho-ska". I prefer this over the German Version because I don't like the taste of the traditional dried, candied Christmas fruit.
whole milk - scalded
yeast (dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water.)
Dissolve yeast in water. Combine sugar and butter. When combined add beaten egg and salt. Stir in the scalded milk AFTER IT HAS COOLED and the yeast. Add 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Let rise about 1/2 hour. Add almonds and raisins. Mix well. Add rest of the flour to make a soft dough. Turn on board and knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and let rise about 45 minutes. Punch down in bowl and let rise again for 45 minutes. Then put in two greased bread pans. Let rise again for another 45 minutes. Bake 45 minutes at 325 degrees. Brush with beaten egg and 1 Tablespoon of water before baking.
This is time consuming so make sure you have plenty of time on your hands! Letting the dough rise multiple times is key to this bread! Once you taste it you will realize that it was well worth the work! A stand mixer works great when making sweet breads!