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Česnica (Чесница) – Serbian Christmas Bread

This is an old Celtic recipe.

Česnica (Serbian Cyrillic: Чесница) is a kind of soda bread made on Christmas morning, in Serbian tradition. A solid silver coin for health and good luck is placed into the bread. During the Christmas breakfast (being the most important meal of Christmas in Serbian tradition) family members break the česnica and the one who finds the coin in the piece of bread is considered to be most fortunate that year; however, the head of the family has to buy the coin so it stays in the house.

Sometimes, there are other things put in česnica, like a piece of Badnjak (a log brought into the house and placed on the fire on the evening of Christmas Eve, a central tradition in Serbian Christmas celebrations), also called the Yule log (for good luck), hazelnut (for health), plum (for traveling), etc.

Ingredients:

  • 7 3/4 Cups Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Yeast
  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • warm Water

Instructions:

  1. preheat Oven To 375 Degrees F.
  2. combine Flour, Yeast, Shortening And Salt. Knead With Enough Warm Water To Moisten Until Dough Separates From Hands. Dough Should Be Firm, Not Tacky.
  3. put Dough On Greased Pan. Let Rise For 10 Minutes In Warm Area. Perforate Dough With Fork. Insert Clean Coin (quarter Or Gold Dollar) And Spread Dough Flat Like A Pizza.
  4. bake For 25 Minutes Until Brown.

Makes 16 Servings.

Approximate Values Per Serving: 349 Calories, 14 G Fat, 0 Cholesterol, 7 G Protein, 49 G Carbohydrates, 0 Fiber, 268 Mg Sodium, 35 Percent Calories From Fat

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