Gramma Skopek’s Holiday Hoska
Makes 2 loaves
Hoska is a Czech braided bread studded with nuts and dried fruit.
- 5 tsp. Bob's Red Mill active dry yeast
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. Simply Organic nutmeg
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 4 cups Bob's Red Mill organic unbleached white flour
- ½ cup golden seedless raisins
- ½ cup chopped or slivered almonds
- 1 large egg yolk
- Florida Crystals organic powdered sugar, for dusting
1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water, and set aside. Combine butter and sugar in bowl with electric mixer and until smooth. Blend in eggs, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Alternately mix in yeast mixture and flour, if necessary, so that the dough is elastic, but not too sticky.
2. Shape dough into ball, cover with towel, and let rise 1 hour. Knead raisins and almonds into dough. Divide in half, then divide each half into 6 equal pieces (you should have 12 pieces). Roll 3 dough pieces into 1/2-inch-thick ropes. Braid together on floured work surface, pinching together braid at both ends. Repeat until you have 4 braids.
3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 2 braids on baking sheet. Place remaining 2 braids on top., so there are 2 double-stacked loaves. Cover with towel, and let rise 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat egg yolk with 1 Tbs. water in bowl. Brush loaves with egg wash. Bake 45-50 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar.
November/December 2010 p.67