Recipe of the Week – Houska (Holiday Bread)

November 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm 1 comment

From the Bread Collection at

Houska (Holiday Bread)

Houska (Holiday Bread)

I was out running our puppy at the dog park the other day when one of the usual group asked me if I had ever made Houska.  Once she described it to me it sounded like some of the bread my grandmother would make during the holidays.  Handing me a folded paper, probably 50 plus years old, she asked if I could piece together a recipe that would be similar to the bread her grandmother made.

I researched the bread and found it probably came from an area that was known as Houska, in the old Czechoslovakia.  This is definitely a dense sweet bread, well worth a try for your holiday.  The bread passed the test and was actually as her grandmother had made. An added note: the bread my grandmother made is called Bobbka, originating in Poland and contains about 3 times the eggs.

Houska (Holiday Bread)

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 12
Category: Breads
Meal: other (General)
1 cup milk, whole
6 oz butter, unsalted, melted
1 cup sugar, granulated
0.5 tsp salt, kosher
0.25 tsp nutmeg, ground
2 package yeast, dried
0.25 cup water
3 large egg
5.5 cups flour, all-purpose
1 cup raisins, golden
0.5 cup almonds, slivered
1 small egg wash
2 Tb sugar, powdered

Add melted butter, sugar, salt and nutneg to warm milk, stirring to combine. Place yeast and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and dissolve. Add warm milk mixture and 2 eggs, and combine. Add 3 cups flour and beat until smooth. Add the raisins, almonds, and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and mix 5 minutes until smooth. Dough will be sticky.
Scrape down sides of dough and let rise in same bowl, covered, until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and turn out onto lightly floured board. If making 1 large loaf, divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a strip about 14 inches long, and braid together the 3 strips on a parchment-lined baking pan. Note: If making 2 loaves, divide dough into 2 equal pieces and then divide each half into 3 equal pieces, for a total of 6 pieces. Loosely cover bread with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush egg wash lightly on bread. Bake 40 minutes, until brown. Cool bread and dust with powdered sugar.


I will be making more Houska along with French bread for my family’s visit next week.  Find more great bread recipes at

Entry filed under: Misc. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Linda  |  November 22, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Looks incredible!

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