Housky (sg. houska) are a Czech bread pastry in form of a braid. Here’s a simple recipe.
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What is Housky
Housky is the plural of the word houska. There are other names for the same type of bread, for example pletýnka, žemle, húska, bandur, bandor, bělka, calta. It’s a type of small white bread prepared from three strands that are braided, often sprinkled with salt, caraway seeds or poppy seeds. Historically, the word houska or húska used to refer to the Christmas pastry Vánočka.
Housky – Recipe
- 350 g/12.3 oz of all-purpose flour
- 160 ml/5.4 oz of warm water or milk
- 1 tsp of salt
- 70 ml/2.4 oz of oil
- 20 g/0.7 oz of active yeast/1 and 1/2 tsp of dried yeast
- 1/4 tsp of sugar
- to glaze: 1 egg
- to sprinkle: large grain salt, caraway seeds, poppy seeds
How to make Housky
Put the warm water or milk in a small bowl and the yeast to it. Add the sugar, stir a little and let the starter rest in a warm place for 10-15 minutes after which you should see bubbles on the top.
Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, add the starter and oil and mix, then knead with your hands until you get dough with no lumps and that is only slightly sticky. Cover the bowl and let the dough raise. The time will depend on the temperature of the environment, it can be anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes.
Split the dough in 4 equal parts and each of them in 3. Roll out each part to be 15-20 cm/5.9 – 7.9 in long. Connect three strands on one end and braid just like you would braid a three-strand-braid. Place them on a baking tray and let them raise for another 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven on 190°C and place a heatproof bowl with water at the bottom of your oven, it will create steam inside.
Whisk the egg with a little water or milk and glaze the housky, then sprinkle some salt, caraway or poppy seeds on the top. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
Discover more amazing Czech pastry here.