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Christmas Cake Bread

Updated: Feb 14

  • I start Christmas morning by mixing the dough for the traditional Česnica. It is believed that its name comes from the Old Slavic word: čest (which means: part), because it breaks into pieces before lunch. A coin is placed in the dough, which, according to the belief, should bring happiness to the one who finds it in his work. When breaking, each of those present tears off a part of the bread, and one part is “home-made”. Follow recipe.

Ingredients: medium, total time: 180 min. 10 serving

Rising yeast

  • 1 cube of fresh yeast/ 42 g

  • 350-400 ml of milk

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon flour

and more:

  • 750 g of flour

  • 1 egg

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

To Coat and Sprinkle Bread:

  • 1 egg white

  • a little sesame and flax seeds

  • a little salt

The most important:

  • 1 lucky coin/ wrapped in a piece of aluminum foil

Preparation:
  1. Heat the milk with the sugar, then remove it from the hob, add a teaspoon of flour and a cube of yeast, and crumble it in the milk. Leave in a warm place 20 min. for the yeast to start working and froth.

  2. Put flour in a bowl (before that, separate two cups on the side, in a bowl), egg, oil, and salt. When the yeast grows, add it to the dough and start mixing. If necessary, add more lukewarm milk or flour (the one separated from the side), to get a medium hard dough.

  3. Put the kneaded dough in a bowl (before that, dust it with flour), cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to double in size about 1 hour.

  4. During that time, prepare a baking dish, lightly grease it with oil and dust with flour.

  5. When the dough rises, transfer it to the work surface, and if necessary, add flour from the one separated from the side, then divide into 2 parts, larger (about 2/3 of the dough) and smaller (1/3 of the dough).

  6. Shape a small part into a ball, press a lucky coin into it, wrapped in aluminum foil, and place it in the middle of a baking tin with a diameter of 28 cm. Roll out the rest of the dough with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 1 cm, then cut out the “donuts” with a glass. I cut 18 pieces. “Donuts” stack next to each other, overlapping them, until all 18 are stacked correctly. Mix the rest of the dough (from cutting out “donuts”), divide it into two parts, then make two long sticks, weave them, then push them in from the outside, in order to fill the gap in the mold.

  7. Coat the cake-bread with beaten egg whites, sprinkle with salt, sesame and flax seeds, and leave it to grow for another 30 minutes.

  8. Bake in a well-heated oven at 200 °C for about 15 minutes, then reduce to 180 °C and bake until done, until golden brown.

  9. Sometimes I make Česnica as an ordinary cake, without decorations. I make a few cross-shaped holes and that's it. Buon appetito!

Merry Christmas!

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  • I would be happy if you would comment on my recipes and put like.

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