Bake on Saturday

My mother was quite the baker. I don’t remember cookies or pies so much, but she made breads. Maybe she was like me and just couldn’t make a cookie to save her life. Mine are never shaped nicely. They’re usually overdone or underdone. I can even mess up store-bought cookie dough. But bread, I can make. Go figure.

I liked this recipe because it actually says it tastes better the next day and keeps for a week. We’ll be enjoying it for breakfast tomorrow morning. It’s a little Christmas tradition some families have. Do you have Christmas baking traditions? What are they?

15 thoughts on “Bake on Saturday

  1. Oh how beautiful! I love fresh-baked things, and your pics are so lovely.

    I still make some Christmas cookies that are hand-written recipes passed down from my grandmother. My husband has adopted the custom of making German stollen bread that looks like it’s similar to your recipe. Not braided, but with fruit and nuts in it and a little frosting on top. It keeps well, too.

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      I wonder if every ethnic background, at least European, has some kind of nut bread? These traditions run across boundaries, I think.

  2. Thanks, Gina, for sharing your Christmas baking tradition. In our family when our girls were young, we baked several batches of sugar cookies, decorated them with red and green sprinkles and white frosting, and tried not to eat them all in one setting!

  3. Yummy. My father-in-law is here right now and I had to show him this because his family is Czech and he knew it as Houska. It looks delicious. My Christmas baking tradition is to try to get something made for a bunch of neighbors and friends scattered in about a 2 mile radius. This year I’m doing peach bread (from my frozen peaches off my trees) and lemon bread. The lemon bread is yummiest, but the peach bread gives me punny sayings to go with it–like Have a peachy Christmas–or something equally cheesy.

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      Yup. My sister calls it Houska. I have been looking for a good recipe for lemon bread. That sounds wonderful! I made another batch today. They turn out so pretty!

  4. For my sons (the older two with a Czech father) I make Houska. Much like the bread you made, I suspect, but with an additional twist on top. One year I baked it and took it all the way to Texas for Sean–and the dog ate it, including at least part of the plastic bag.

    Does yours have orange zest? I couldn’t see it in the ingredients photo. I’ve also made an orange/anise twist that’s formed into a circle.

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      Lemon zest. I think Houska and Vanocka are kind of the same thing. Different families use different words. I think it’s supposed to be 9 strands laid 4, 3, 2, braided into a really big loaf. I’m making it again today because it’ll be nice to have in the freezer. I like the little loaves. Not such a big commitment now that it’s just the two of us.

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      I’ve done my best on making candy and cookies over the years. I don’t have the patience for them. Maybe some day I’ll really make the effort. Until then, I’ll hope someone brings me cookies!

  5. Ah, so this is the bread you were mentioning on Facebook. Looks wonderful. I don’t bake bread much–it probably wouldn’t turn out well–but my cookies turn out great (I’m convinced it’s my Pampered Chef stoneware). So you bring the bread, and I’ll bring the cookies. 🙂

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