Sweet Christmas bread – Vánočka (Czech braided bread)

Sweet christmas bread – Vánočka (czech braided bread)

Disclaimer: On occasions we may have used a recipe image of a similar nature for illustrative purposes only.

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Ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

DOUGH:

240ml whole milk (scalded - see instructions)

225g sugar

115g butter (room temperature)

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp dried yeast

60ml warm water

2 large eggs (beaten)

825 g strong bread flour

100g raisins

100g almond flakes

zest of 2 lemons

GLAZE:

1 egg (beaten)

flaked almonds

sugar – icing or confectionery (to decorate)

Time: 4-5 hours
Makes 15-20 slices
Tools: 
K-beater bowl tool/ Dough hook bowl tool/ Baking tray

METHOD:

  1. Put the milk in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat. Stir continuously to ensure that the milk does catch on the bottom of the pan. When small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan and the milk starts to steam, stir until the surface of milk bubbles.  Do not let it boil.  Take off heat. The milk is now scalded and ready to use.
  2. Whilst the scalded milk is warm add the sugar, butter and salt. Stir until the sugar and butter have dissolved and melted. Put this one side.
  3. Fit the CHEF Titanium with the K-Beater bowl tool. Add the dried yeast and warm water to the mixing bowl and then beat until combined.
  4. Add the warm milk mixture and the eggs in to the bowl and mix well.
  5. Add 450g of flour and beat on low speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if any flour has stuck.
  6. Change to the dough hook bowl tool and add rest of the flour. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes until the mixture starts to come away from the side.  The dough will still be quite sticky.  Put into a lightly greased bowl, cover and rest in a warm cupboard or proving drawer for 2 hours. 
  7. Once rested, put the back into the mixing bowl. Using the CHEF Titanium on lowest speed, gradually add the dried raisins, almond flakes and zest.
  8. When all are well dispersed, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and cut the dough in half. 
  9. Cut one half into 3 parts, cut the other half into 5 parts and roll each part into ropes about 14inches/36cm long. 

10.  On a lined baking sheet, braid the 3 larger pieces together. Pinch the ends together. Repeat this process with 3 of the smaller ropes and lay it on top of the first braid. 

11.  With the last 2 ropes of dough, twist them together and put them on top of the smaller braid, tucking the ends together before tucking them under.

12.  Cover with a cloth or greased cling film and leave to rise for up to 1.5 hours.  This is a heavy dough so it may only rise a small amount.

13.  Pre heat oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6

14.  Brush the dough with a beaten egg then sprinkle with almond flakes. Bake in middle of the oven for 15 minutes.

15.  Reduce the heat to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 and bake for a further 30-45 minutes, or a little longer depending on how wet the mixture originally was.  Check with a skewer – it should come out clean and dry. If the bread starts to brown too quickly during cooking, cover with foil.

16.  Once completely cool, dust or sprinkle with sugar and then slice.

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