Tonight is the RS live wreath making. This is the recipe for Patsy Ourednik's Hoska. It was the best bread for toasting and I have never made it myself, but love eating hers...which she doesn't make anymore. But she gave me her recipe for the 1980 cookbook we put together. I will suggest a few things: do not the fresh yeast unless you are really good with fresh, use the regular yeast but use 2 T at least; be sure to give the dough plenty of time to rise, put it in a large lidded container and keep out of drafts. Altho mine didn't rise enough this time, this was my impatience and stress in not letting it rise long enough...and the initial warm milk was not warm enough. Also, when it comes to braiding, go online and see alternative ways to braid..as in a 6 braid challah. Too often when you stack braids they slip while baking.
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 t. salk
Add 2 cakes compressed (fresh) yeast. Crumble into mixture and stir until yeast is dissolved.
Add the rest of the ingredients:
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup melted butter
4-5 cups sifted flour...enough only to make the dough be firm, but not stiff
1 cup yellow raisins
1/4 cup citron, optional
Lastly, candied cherries
Separate the dough into 9 equal pieces. Roll into long 'snakes'.
Take 4 strips and braid loosely. See that the ends are firmly joined together. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Put on the first braid. Take candied cherries and place some here and there. Then take 3 strips and braid as with the first one. place on top of the first one and repeat with cherries. Then take last 2 strips and braid. Place this on top. Tuck any ends underneath the whole braid.
Cover and let rise about 1/2 hour. Brush with beaten egg. Put in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 325 and make 1/2 hour or more until browned.
**Patsy said: This is traditionally made at christmas time by many Czechs. As you can see, I am 'bi-lingual' when it comes to cooking.