Vanocka, braiding looks so complicated… but it is worth trying.
Here’s a recipe with braiding 4 strands. You would find it easier.
500g all purpose flour 100g unsalted butter, room temperature 80g+ 1tbsp sugar 1cup milk 20g (10g) yeast (dried) 1/2tsp salt 2 egg yolks, room temperature 50g raisins icing sugar (confectioners’) for dusting 1 egg for coating wooden sticks to secure braids
In a small bowl mix 1 tablespoon sugar into luke warm milk and add the yeast.
Leave for 10 minutes and let the yeast rise.
In a large bowl place flour, sugar and salt and mix well.
Beat egg yolks in the small bowl with yeast and pour into the flour.
Then mix until all flour is combined.
Add diced room temperature butter and blend.
Add raisins then start kneading.
Transfer the dough on slightly floured board and knead until smooth.
If the dough is too soft, add flour a little more.
Gather the dough and put flour on surface.
Place it into ceramic or glass bowl and cover with a clean cloth.
Let the dough sit in a warm space(oven or microwave…) for a hour until double in size.
Punch the dough and remove the excess air.
Divide the dough into 9 equal parts and start braiding.
Make 4 strands braids, 3 strands braids and 2 strands braids.
How to Braid
Make 4 strands and place them on a board.
Strands number 1,2,3,4 (Left to right)
Take 1 and place it in between 2 and 3.
Lift 3 then place 4 in between 2 and 1.
Strands numbers should be 2,4,1 and 3 from left.
Continue in the same way until the end.
Pinch the ends and tuck in the bottom.
Set the dough on baking sheet.
4 strands is bottom, 3 strands middle and 2 on top. Cover with a clean cloth for 30 minutes.
Beat a egg and brush all surface of vanocka.
Secure it with wooded sticks, soaked in water.
The top braid is easy to slide off while baking.
Bake on the bottom rack in the preheated oven
at 428°F(220°C) for first 5 minutes then at 325°F(160°C) for 45 minutes.
Cover with aluminum foil when the surface of vanocka turns golden brown.
Remove the vanocka from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Dust icing sugar on the surface.
This recipe yields a small size of vanocka.