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Slovak Easter Bread Loaf With Meat - Velkonočna Hlávka

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Slovak Easter Bread Loaf With Meat or Velkonocna Hlavka

Slovak Easter Bread Loaf With Meat or Velkonocna Hlavka

© Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This Slovak recipe for Easter bread loaf with meat is made with veal and a yeasted dough, and is known as Velkonočna hlávka, literally "Easter loaf." It's similar to Slovak sekanice, also known as sekana and planina but the latter is not made with a yeasted dough. Rather it is like a meat loaf made with veal and sometimes a combination of veal and pork. In the old days, Velkonočna hlávka was made with the meat from a boiled calf's head. Unless you have access to a calf's head, lean veal shoulder will do. In some regions, it was this veal bread loaf that went into the Easter food basket to be blessed on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday.

Here is a larger photo of Slovak Easter Bread Loaf With Meat or Velkonocna Hlavka.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Dough must rise twice: 2 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 2 Easter Bread Loaves with Meat

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds lean boneless veal shoulder, boiled and ground
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 18 large eggs, separated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch cloves
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk for egg wash

Preparation:

  1. Grind the veal while it is still warm and keep it warm, but not hot. In a small bowl or cup, place yeast, warm milk and sugar. Stir and let this stand in a warm place until it is bubbly.

  2. Place warm ground veal in a large bowl and add the beaten egg yolks, salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of cloves. Then stir in the yeast mixture, and then add breadcrumbs and flour, and mix well. Then fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. The dough should be thick enough so that a wooden spoon will stand upright in the dough. If it's too thick, add a little milk. If it's too thin, add a little flour or breadcrumbs. Let dough mixture rise, covered, in a warm place until light and fluffy, about 30 to 45 minutes. It won't double in size.

  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. When dough has risen, stir it down. Coat two 9x5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and scatter with breadcrumbs. Divide mixture between the two pans. Allow to rise, covered with greased plastic wrap, in a warm place until light and fluffy, about 30 to 45 minutes. It won't double in size. Brush with egg beaten with milk. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean. Cool on a wire rack and remove from pans.
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