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Houska (Braided Bread)


  • 1 package yeast
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup scalded milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/4 - 4 3/4 cups flour, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  1. Mix the honey and warm water to dissolve, add yeast.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk almost to boiling point, then remove from heat. Combine the scalded milk, sugar, margarine, and salt; cool to lukewarm.
  3. Stir 1 cup of flour into milk mixture, beat well. Stir in the yeast mixture. Add eggs and beat well. Add mace, raisins, and almonds. Add 3 more cups of flour, stirring to make a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding flour a little at a time to keep dough from sticking. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning the dough once to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough is double in size (about 1 hour).
  4. Punch down dough and divide into 5 pieces, 3 the same size, 2 slightly smaller. The 3 larger pieces are rolled out to form a 17-inch roll and then braided together. This is the bottom row. The 2 smaller pieces are rolled out and twisted together and placed on top of the 3-braid piece, tucking the ends under. Assemble on a cookie sheet with parchment paper on the diagonal. Let the Houska rise in a warm place until about double in size.
  5. Brush the tops with milk.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Brush the tops lightly with butter when the loaves are still warm for a softer crust.

Submitted to by Roy Vyskocil.

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