Monday, December 24, 2007

Great Last-Minute Christmas Gift Idea

Placek (Polish Christmas Bread)


Makes 3 loaves

  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 packages Rapid Rise dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, plus more for bowl and pans
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups golden raisins


  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan until it reaches 110 degrees [I did this in the microwave]. Remove from heat; stir in yeast and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar until completely dissolved. Let stand until foamy, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer yeast mixture to a stainless steel bowl. Add 2 cups flour and stir to combine. Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover dough. Cover parchment with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour. [I didn't see the use of the parchment paper, it just took the top layer of dough and cost me more.]
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1 1/2 sticks butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, orange zest, eggs, and 2 cups flour.
  4. Change mixer attachment to a dough hook and add yeast mixture to mixer bowl. Mix together on low. With the mixer running, slowly add 2 cups flour and raisins. Butter a large bowl and add dough. Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover dough. Let rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use a fork to mix together remaining 2 cups flour, 1 stick butter, and 1 cup sugar until crumbly.
  6. Butter three 9-by-5-by-3-inch (8-cup) loaf pans and divide dough evenly between them; top each with crumbs. Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover dough; let rise until rounded over the top.
  7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Transfer placek to oven and bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 1 hour in pan before removing. Store at room temperature, up to 1 week.
First published: December 2007 by Martha

I got the tags for homemade gifts from Sew Mama Sew blog.



Umm they look really good! I love trying out new bread recipes! :)

kgold said...

Glad you all enjoyed my grandmother's original Placek recipe. They do make great gifts as well as wonderful family treats for the holidays! Please visit my website for new and inventive recipes for diabetic and renal diets at:

Sincerely, Karen M. Gold