We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Houska?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Houska is a type of braided bread typically made in a number of cuisines, including Czech and Polish cooking. Though different recipes may call for different amounts of ingredients, the dough for this bread is often made using scalded milk, sugar, butter, eggs, and yeast to produce bread that is fairly soft and light. Prior to baking, the dough is typically split into several pieces that are rolled out and braided together. Houska can be made in different ways, though the braided pieces are often stacked on each other, sometimes in spirals to create a conical or pyramidal shape.

Sometimes called braided bread, houska can be found in Czech, or Bohemian, and Polish cuisine and is often eaten at breakfast or for holidays and special occasions. While different ingredients can be used in the bread, such as raisins, nuts, and other dried fruits, the bread typically begins with somewhat sweet dough that uses yeast to rise. The dough often begins with milk that is scalded, which means the milk is brought to a boil, sometimes with some butter, and then allowed to cool.

Several eggs are typically used in houska dough, and some recipes call for a few whole eggs as well as just a yolk. The cooled, scalded milk is typically added to the beaten eggs, with the yeast. Some recipes may call for the yeast to be bloomed in warm water separately. A separate bowl of dry ingredients, such as flour, sugar, and salt is prepared and set aside. The wet mixture is then added to the dry ingredients and mixed together thoroughly to form the houska dough, though not so much that excess gluten is formed.

This houska dough is typically covered and allowed to rise for several hours. After rising, other ingredients such as nuts, dried fruit, and spices such as ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon zest can be added. Some recipes call for these to be added prior to rising, though this can also depend on the preferences of the baker.

The dough is then divided into several pieces, which are rolled out into thin ropes. Several of these ropes are then used to form braids of dough, which can be left straight or spiraled into a coil. These braids are then stacked on top of each other, and an egg-white wash is brushed over the dough. The houska is then baked until golden brown and served warm.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Feryll — On Oct 17, 2014

If you ever get to Poland try the Polish Easter Babka. I had this when I was in Poland and I was pleasantly surprised. We were walking around and I had a taste for something sweet. A friend who lives in Poland suggested I try the Polish Easter Babka.

It is a sweet bread with raisins and it has an orange taste. I'm not sure what gives the bread the orange citrus flavor, but it is great. Even though I don't normally like raisins in my desserts, I am willing to make an exception in this case. Honestly, it was great.

By Sporkasia — On Oct 16, 2014

@Animandel - I agree there is a widely help belief that people in Poland and other Central European countries do not eat the most tasty or healthy diets, but this has changed so much since the opening up of Central and Eastern Europe to the rest of the world. You can find people eating dishes from all over the world in Poland.

And as for Polish bread, it is some of the best that I have ever tasted. However, like you, I have not tried the houska bread, but I look forward to trying it soon.

By Animandel — On Oct 15, 2014

I've heard of Houska, but I didn't know it was associated with Polish cooking. When I think of really good food and the countries with the best cuisines, Poland and other Western European countries in general are not the places that come to mind.

Traditionally, these countries are known for heavy and hearty meals--more substance than flash and presentation. And breads and sausages are definitely a big part of the meals in these countries, which brings up some possible health issues.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.