How to Braid Egg-Twist Breads

  • 01 of 10

    Here's What You'll Need to Make a Braided Egg Twist Like Chałka

    Braided Egg Bread or Houska
    Braided Egg Bread or Houska. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
    • 1 cup warm milk (no hotter than 110 degrees)
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
    • 1 cup sugar (or less, to taste)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 packages active dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup warm water
    • 2 eggs + 1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
    • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup golden raisins
    Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves
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  • 02 of 10

    Combine scalded milk with next three ingredients.

    Add butter, sugar and salt to scalded milk.
    Add butter, sugar and salt to scalded milk. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Add butter, sugar and salt to scalded milk. Stir to combine and let cool to lukewarm (110 degrees).

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  • 03 of 10

    Place ingredients in a stand mixer or large bowl.

    The finished dough will be sticky.
    The finished dough will be sticky. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Place yeast and warm water (110 degrees) in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl. With the paddle attachment, mix until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 2 eggs, and combine.

    Add flour and continue to mix until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Add raisins and thoroughly combine. The dough will be sticky.

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  • 04 of 10

    Place dough in greased bowl.

    Place dough in greased bowl to rise.
    Place dough in greased bowl to rise. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Transfer dough to a clean, greased bowl. Turn dough over to grease the top and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free place and let rise until double, about 1 hour. See this Quick Tip for faster rising.

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  • 05 of 10

    Punch dough down and place on work surface.

    Turn dough out onto work surface.
    Turn dough out onto work surface. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    When dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto lightly floured board. The less flour you use, the better the bread will be.

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  • 06 of 10

    Divide dough.

    Divide dough.
    Divide dough. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    If making 1 large loaf, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. If making 2 loaves, divide dough into 2 equal pieces and divide each of the 2 pieces into 3 equal pieces, for a total of 6 pieces.

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  • 07 of 10

    Roll each piece into a long rope.

    Roll dough pieces into ropes.
    Roll dough pieces into ropes. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Roll each piece of dough into a rope about 14 inches long. Use three ropes per bread.

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  • 08 of 10

    Begin braiding.

    Braiding the dough.
    Braiding the dough. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Start braiding from the top, as you would for a plait of hair.

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  • 09 of 10

    Let braided bread rise until double.

    Let bread rise until double in volume.
    Let bread rise until double in volume. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Let the bread rise, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until double in volume, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Brush lightly with remaining beaten egg. Bake 30 minutes or until instant-read thermometer registers 190 degrees when placed in the middle of the loaf.

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  • 10 of 10

    Enjoy this slightly sweet bread.

    Enjoy this braided bread plain, toasted or with butter. (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Remove bread from oven. When completely cool, slice and serve. View the recipe in its entirety. If you have leftovers, they're great in bread pudding.

    These braiding techniques can be applied to braided egg bread known variously as Czech vanocka, Polish chałka, Jewish challah and Hungarian fonott kalacs.