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Polish Egg Twist Bread Recipe - Chałka

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Polish Egg Twist Bread or Chalka

Polish Egg Twist Bread or Chalka

© 2010 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for Polish chałka (HOW-kah) is a rich, braided egg bread that may or may not contain raisins. It's similar to Bohemian-Czech houska, Jewish challah and French brioche. Chalka is served year-round, but especially at Christmas and Easter. If you have any leftover chalka, it makes delicious French toast or bread pudding with orange sauce or makowki (Polish poppyseed bread pudding).

Here is a larger photo of Polish Chalka Bread.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Rising: 2 hours

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 1 large or 2 medium loaves bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 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 for glazing, at room temperature, beaten
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Preparation:

  1. Add butter, sugar and salt to scalded milk. Stir to combine and let cool to lukewarm.

  2. Place yeast and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and, with the paddle attachment, stir until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 2 eggs and combine.

  3. Add 3 cups flour and beat until smooth. Add the raisins and remaining flour and mix, 3 to 5 minutes until smooth. Dough will be sticky.

  4. Place dough in greased bowl. Turn over and cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, about 1 hour. See this Quick Tip for faster rising.

  5. Punch down dough and turn out onto lightly floured board. If making 1 large loaf, divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a strip about 14 inches long, and braid together the 3 strips on a parchment-lined baking pan. Note: If making 2 loaves, divide dough into 2 equal pieces and then divide each half into 3 equal pieces, for a total of 6 pieces.

  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Loosely cover bread with greased plastic wrap and let rise until double, about 30 minutes. See this Quick Tip for faster rising.

  7. Brush remaining beaten egg lightly on bread. Bake 30 minutes.

  8. Let cool completely before serving. Store, covered, at room temperature or slice and freeze.
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