Vianočka is a common yeast bread in Slovakia. It is a braided bread, slightly sweet, and eaten often at breakfast time. Vianočka is available in just about any grocery store in Slovakia. It is so common in fact, that I’ve never seen or heard of any Slovak baking it at home. Why would you bake a basic bread if you could just pick one up at the local market?
Vianočka is also a good bread to bake for Easter. In Vienna I’ve seen this bread sold at bakeries with a few colored hard-boiled eggs set between the weave of the braids. It’s very festive.
Well, I wanted to bake this bread at home in California and after consulting several recipes, I’ve come up with my tried and tested version for authentic vianočka. To me it tastes almost identical to what you can buy in Slovakia. Below is the recipe and my directions:
- 1 1/2 cup (.4 liter) milk
- 2 rounded tablespoons sugar
- 2 packets (1/4 oz each) of dry yeast or 30 grams cake yeast
- 4 1/2 cups (600 grams) flour
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) butter
- 1 cup (225 grams) sugar
- 3 egg yolks (keep the whites to brush the dough later)
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- grated lemon peel
Note 1) To make the crust darker, start baking at 375°F.
Note 2) The recipe yields one large loaf. To make two, separate the dough into 16 pieces.