Mar 14, 2024


When talking about typical Easter treats baked in the Czech Republic, you can’t forget mazanec, sweet Easter bread! Also known as „velikonoční bochánek“, it’s one of Czech Easter’s main symbols.

Mazanec is a sweet yeast pastry baked on White Saturday (Holy Saturday). It is shaped like a round loaf, a symbol of the sun, marked with a cross in the middle, and sprinkled generously with almonds.

The Story of Mazanec recipe

In the olden days, Mazanec would be made with a cross cut on the top and blessed by a local priest. Any crumbs that would remain on the table (or on the floor) after eating would be thrown into the open fire to burn (I guess so that nothing is wasted)

The oldest Czech recipes are from the 15 and 16 century when the recipe didn’t have any sugar (as it wasn’t as known around the country and was also very expensive) – only used thick cream (which is naturally quite sweet) or cream cheese (tvaroh) if you were fairly well off family. People also used safron or ground cloves as the spice in the dough.


  • All-purpose flour; for the dough, plus a handful to dust the work surface
  • Milk; lukewarm
  • Active dry yeast
  • Sugar
  • Unsalted butter; softened at room temperature
  • Eggs; warmed to room temperature
  • Vanilla paste; or vanilla essence
  • Raisins; or other soft dried fruit
  • Almonds
  • Rum
  • A pinch of salt


If you are using fresh yeast, don’t forget to prove the yeast. If you use dry yeast, continue here. Best in a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine all-purpose flour, dry yeast, fine sugar, salt and lemon zest. Stir in with wooden spatula.

Start mixing with a hook attachment on power 4 and slowly add (if you are using fresh yeast, add proven yeast here) milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract and mix until the dough comes together. Continue mixing for another 5-7 minutes at medium speed, so the dough is well mixed. Add the last ingredients, almonds, and raisins and mix just to combine. Remove the hook attachment and with your hand get all the nuts and raisins on the bottom of the bowl. Bring the dough with your hand up and shape a ball.

Take the dough in the bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic food wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, in a warm place, or until it double in size. Make sure the dough is not in a drafty spot in your kitchen.

Once the dough has risen, bring it back to the kitchen counter and, with a clean hand, gently punch in the middle to let the gases escape from the dough. Place the dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Shape the dough into a ball by making plies like an envelope, then turn the dough upside down and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic food foil and prove for another 20 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200 °C. Crack an egg in a small bowl and add rum. Whisk the egg with rum to have egg wash. Brush the egg wash all over the sweet bread.

Place the sweet bread in the oven and bake first for 10 minutes at 200 °C, then reduce the temperature to 160 °C and bake for an additional 40 minutes. If your bread already had browned the first 10 minutes of baking, cover the bread with aluminum foil to prevent burning.

After baking, let the sweet bread rest for 40-60 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve as is or spread with butter, or jam.

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