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Member recipe

Vanoca Czech Christmas Bread

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Serves 1 - 1 Loave

Traditional Czech Christmas bread recipe adapted for a bread machine. Each batch produces either one large or two small loaves. Bread can be made in advance and frozen.

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  • 110g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 1 sachet yeast
  • vanilla essence
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • Lemon peel from 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 50g sultanas
  • 50g chopped, blanched almonds
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g chopped, blanched almonds
  • Vanilla icing sugar for dusting.


    1. Beat the eggs and mix together with the milk and sugar. Add in the melted butter and mix in the yeast.
    2. Weigh out and mix the dry ingredients together. Add to the bread machine and choose the "dough" setting.
    3. Once the dough is made, turn out onto a floured surface, and divide into 8 equal portions (16 if making two small loaves). Roll each portion into a "rope" about 18cm long.
    4. Take the first 4 of the ropes, and create a plait. Next take 3 ropes and make a plait. Finally divide the last rope in half and roll into two thinner ropes and twist together. Place the three plait on the four plait on a baking sheet and then the two rope twist on top, folding this under the other two.
    5. Cover completely with beaten egg, the sprinkle over the chopped almonds, and recover again with beaten egg.
    6. Place in a pre-heated oven at 190C / fan 170C / gas 6 for 20 mins until the bread begins to brown. Then turn the heat down to 160C / fan 140 / gas 3 until cooked. Test by tapping the base of the loaf which should sound hollow. Allow to cool, and before serving sprinkle with vanilla icing sugar.

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