My mom made Kitke quite often when we were growing up. My childhood memories are filled with the smells of baking bread and milky tea cooked on the stove on a Sunday morning. Kitke is an egg enriched sweetish bread and the addition of butter makes for a deliciously rich loaf.

This recipe makes 4 loaves and you can easily increase or divide the ingredients to make less or more. Dough can be stored in the fridge for 5 days and then transferred to freezer. Defrost it overnight if you are using it from the freezer.


Recipe credit: Zoe Fracois and Jeff Herzberg from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day


1¾ cups lukewarm water
1½ tablespoons instant yeast (2 packets)
1½ tablespoons salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup honey
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
7 cups all-purpose flour
Sesame seeds for sprinkling


  1. Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter (or oil) with the water in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon. You may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. This can also be done in a food processor with a dough hook.
  3. Cover, not airtight, at room temperature unti the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond 5 days, freeze in half kilo portions in an airtight container or plastic bags for up to 4 weeks. Defrost frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator before using. Then allow the usual rest and rise time.
  5. Butter or grease a cookie sheet or line with baking paper or a silicone mat. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and divide dough into 4 portions. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
  6. Divide the ball into thirds, using a dough scraper or knife roll the balls between your hands (or on a board), stretching, to form each into a long, thin rope. If the dough resists shaping, let it rest for 5 minutes and try again. Braid the ropes, starting from the center and working to one end. Turn the loaf over, rotate it, and braid from the center out to the remaining end. This produces a loaf with a more uniform thickness than when braided from end to end.
  7. Allow the bread to rest and rise on the prepared cookie sheet for 1 hour and 20 minutes (or just 40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefridgerated dough).
  8. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 180˚C. Brush the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
  9. Bake near the center of the oven for about 25 minutes. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time. The Kitke is done when golden brown, and the braids near the center of the loaf offer resistance to pressure.
  10. Allow to cool a bit before slicing as it will handle a little better.


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