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Buchta

Ingredients:
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour (plus 2 teaspoons for dredging)
2 pkg. yeast
2 large eggs (plus 1 for egg wash)
1 cup milk
¾ cup sugar
1 stick butter
¼ cup water, lukewarm
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup raisins (optional)
½ cup nuts (optional)

Directions:
Put flour in a large bowl and set aside.  Scald milk with butter. Let cool. Mix yeast with lukewarm water and allow the yeast to bloom.  Add bloomed yeast, eggs, salt, and sugar to milk.  Pour over flour and mix well until the dough comes off in your hands. Let dough rise for 1 hour or until double in bulk. Then take the dough and knead it until shiny. Cut dough into 3 parts.  Roll each part into a log. Braid logs together.  Let rise again. Brush top with egg wash. Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Tips:
*If adding raisins and nuts (walnuts or almonds were traditionally used); dredge raisins and nuts in a couple of tablespoons of flour before adding to finished batter.  The flour will prevent the raisins and nuts from sinking to the bottom of the bread during the baking process.

History:
This is my great grandmother, Marianna (Gorz) Bartoszek’s recipe. Buchta is a sweet bread and is a Bartoszek – Velesovsky family favorite. My grandmother, Bernice (Bartoszek) Velesovsky, made Buchta throughout the year whenever she had a taste for it. My husband, Dan, traditionally makes loaves to share with family and friends at Easter and Christmas. His Lithuanian side of the family calls it “Houska”.

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