Houska

2:20:00

Houska is a sweet yeasted braided loaf eaten by Czechs and Bohemians, much like Jewish challah, French brioche or Polish chalka.

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Ingredients
- Serves 6 +
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2/3 cup Warm Milk
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Raisins
Directions HIDE IMAGES
STEP 1
Combine Milk (2/3 cup), 1 tablespoon of the Granulated Sugar (1/4 cup) and Active Dry Yeast (2 1/2 teaspoon) in a small bowl. Allow to proof until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
STEP 2
In a small bowl, combine the cooled, Unsalted Butter (1/4 cup), Egg (1), Almond Extract (1/2 teaspoon) and remaining sugar. Add the yeast mixture and whisk until smooth.
STEP 3
Add Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (1 cup), then Salt (1 teaspoon).
STEP 4
Continue to add the remaining Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (1 3/4 cup) a little at a time until a dough forms.
STEP 5
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead.
STEP 6
Kneed in Raisins (1/4 cup) and Sliced Almonds (1/4 cup).
STEP 7
Sprinkle with additional flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Continue to knead until the dough feels smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
STEP 8
Transfer to a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
STEP 9
Return the dough to a work surface and knead briefly. Push or roll the dough into a rectangle about 14-inches long. Cut lengthwise into thirds, stopping each cut just before reaching the far side so that one short end of the rectangle remains intact.
STEP 10
Starting there, braid the strips of dough together and fold both ends under. Place the braid into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Cover loosely and set aside for 40 minutes.
STEP 11
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
STEP 12
Bake for 30 minutes, until the loaf is a deep golden brown. Unmold the bread onto a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
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