"There is nothing better on a cold wintry day than a properly made pot pie."--Craig Claiborne

Vanocka (Christmas Bread) Recipe

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This recipe for Vanocka (Christmas Bread), by , is from Every Day is a Thanksgiving Day!, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Marge Peters
Added: Monday, November 2, 2009


2 packages active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (about 110 degrees)
About 5 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. each raisins and water
2 T. rum or brandy (optional)
1 c (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. each salt and grated lemon peel
1/2 c. chopped blanched almonds
1/2 c. mixed diced candied (glace) fruit, chopped
1 egg beaten with 1 T. water

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in 1 c. of the flour and beat well to blend. Cover and let stand in a warm place until very bubbly, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, plump the raisins in the 1/2 c. water for 1 hour. Pour off and discard water; combine raisins with the brandy or rum, and set aside.

With an electric beater mixer or wooden spoon, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in the salt and lemon peel. Add butter mixture to yeast mixture, and stir to blend.

Gradually, beat in 2 more cups of the flour. Stir in the raisins, then the almonds and candied fruit.

Gradually beat in enough of the remaining flour (about 1-1/2 cups) to form a stiff dough. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Turn dough over in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured board; knead briefly. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces and roll each into a rope 10 inches long. For each loaf, loosely braid 3 ropes and pinch ends. Transfer to a large greased baking sheet (or separate sheets). Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 30 or 40 minutes.

Brush braids with the egg-water mixture and bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes or until well-browned. Cool on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
2 loaves
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This is the Christmas bread that I make every year. I won blue ribbons with it at the State Fair, and Best of Show in El Dorado County Fair. I used to take this bread and Millie's Sugar Cookies to the fairs because it cost 50 cents to enter, you got into the fair for free, free parking and prize money. You can't beat that!

[Editor: Cliff wonders where his loaf is?]




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