5 from 1 vote
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

Vánočka is a large braided sweet bread with raisins, traditional of Christmas in the Czech Republic.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Czech, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 people
Author: Sarah-Eden Dadoun
  • 6 cups flour
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 cup milk (lukewarm)
  • 1 yolk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Rind of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 egg
  1. Activate yeast with one tablespoon of lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add lukewarm milk and 1 yolk. Combine. Add butter, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Add the flour. Knead for 15 to 20 minutes. When the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, add the raisins, lemon rind, and mix.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch down the dough and turn over onto lightly floured board. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope, about 14 inches long. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, braid the pieces loosely and pinch the ends together. Cover with a cloth or greased plastic wrap and let rise 60 to 90 minutes in a warm place.

  5. Heat oven to 400 F. Brush vanocka with 1 beaten egg. Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 375 F and bake for another 25 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely before slicing. Dust with icing sugar before cutting, if desired.