"This decorative Bohemian sweet bread is a beautiful edible bread sculpture. It's not easy to make, but is sure to impress your guests! Try serving it warm for breakfast."

Ingredients 5 h {{adjustedServings}} servings 257 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 20 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 257 kcal
  • 13%
  • Fat:
  • 8.6 g
  • 13%
  • Carbs:
  • 38.2g
  • 12%
  • Protein:
  • 6.5 g
  • 13%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 51 mg
  • 17%
  • Sodium:
  • 66 mg
  • 3%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Stir in the butter until melted; let cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. In another small bowl, combine 2 whole eggs with the egg yolk; beat lightly.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together 4 cups flour, white sugar, salt, lemon zest, mace and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of this mixture and pour in the cooled milk, yeast mixture and beaten eggs. Beat well until a loose dough forms. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 3 hours.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough and gradually incorporate the remaining cup of flour. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 3 portions; 1 small, 1 medium and 1 large (or one the size of a tangerine, one the size of an orange and one the size of a grapefruit). Cut the largest piece of dough in half and roll it out into 2 long ropes about 30 inches long. Twist the ropes together and place into a 8 inch diameter spiral and place it on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cut the medium size piece of dough in half and roll out into 2 ropes about 20 inches long each. Twist the ropes together and place in a ring on top of the first circle of dough. Roll the smallest piece of dough into a rope about 12 inches long. Coil this rope on top of the other dough. The completed loaf should look like a pyramid.
  6. Place the uncovered loaf in an unheated oven to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Remove the loaf from oven and preheat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  7. Lightly beat the reserved egg white and brush over the loaf. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. If bread starts to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil and continue baking. Cool on wire rack.
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Reviews 3

  1. 3 Ratings


I was truly surprised to find this recipe anywhere Houska is something my grandma always used to make Your version is just as good and brings back memories


I love houska! It's a family tradition on my dad's side. Our recipe from great-grandma is hard to decipher (not structured at all), so I am excited to try this. It seems lighter than ours, in a good way--thanks for sharing! We always add golden raisins and almonds in the batter--maybe 1/4 c each per loaf, to your taste. And we sprinkle almonds on the top. This is SO GOOD warm or toasted. Thank you! (Check out our family's Kolacki recipe--Czech cookies.)

Jennifer Cooper

This recipe is hard to rate since I'd give the final product 4 stars, and the recipe itelf 2 stars. There are discrepancies between the ingredients list and the instructions (salt and the amount of flour). The dough proportions were much bigger than a grapefruit, orange and tangerine and there was no mention of how big around the dough ropes were supposed to be (mine were about an inch to an inch and a half around which seemed too big). Then the shaping of the dough pyramid was very odd. I baked it on a baking stone. The finished product was a rather tasty, slighty sweet breakfast type of bread that reminds me of the Italian pan d'oro eaten at Christmas. I had to cover the bread with foil about 20 minutes in to the baking time because it browned rather quickly. I also had to bake it for about 45-50 minutes to fully cook the middle. Not bad overall, but needs more specific intructions regarding working with the dough, and please fix the discrepancies regarding the flour and salt!