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Authentic Recipe of Cesnica. My Grandmother’s Traditional Serbian Christmas Bread.

The most important part of Serbian tradition is its holidays. For Christmas, Serbians make this amazing bread Cesnica.

Things to know about Cesnica Recipe

Česnica is a round bread that is a crucial part of the Serbian Christmas tradition. Various rules and rituals may accompany the preparation of this bread. A coin is often put into the dough during the kneading; other small objects may also be inserted.

The person who finds the coin in his piece of bread will supposedly be exceptionally lucky in the coming year. Some other rules observed in some homes are; the person who should prepare the bread must be the oldest woman in the household, the flour should be taken from the full sack, and so on.

The Česnica is eaten for Christmas dinner. At the beginning of Christmas dinner, the Česnica is rotated three times counterclockwise before being broken among the family members. The bread is eaten with the rest of the food made for that occasion, and the little game starts: who will find the coin and the rest of the things in the bread?

My Grandmother’s Traditional Serbian Christmas Bread. Authentic Recipe of Cesnica.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: Чесница
User submitted Recipe
5 from 2 votes

— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


Servings 6 People
Calories / Serving 826 kcal


  • 800 grams (1.76 lb) Flour
  • 3 pcs Egg
  • 200 ml (6.76 floz) Milk
  • 180 ml (6.09 floz) Sour Cream
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp White Sugar – Regular Sugar – Granulated Sugar
  • 50 ml (1.69 floz) Oil
  • 42 grams (1.48 oz) Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Milk Lukewarm, to bloom the yeast
  • 125 grams (4.41 oz) Butter
  • 2 pcs Egg Yolk
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  • Combine the lukewarm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit to bloom for about 10-15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, salt, eggs, honey, oil, sour cream, milk, and the yeast mixture.
  • This is the part where you put your coin in.
  • Knead the dough until smooth.
  • Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for about an hour or until it doubles in size.
  • Portion the dough into three parts that are different in size (big, smaller, and smallest)
  • For the biggest portion of the dough, divide it into two. Roll the first half into an ellipse while the other half is shaped into a cylinder.
  • Put the cylinder in the middle of the ellipse, brush the ellipse with melted butter, and cut strips on each side of the ellipse.
  • Put the strips over the cylinder and make the knot out of them.
  • In a 30cm (11.8 inch) round pan, put baking paper and brush the sides with butter.
  • Place the shaped dough into the lined pan.
  • For the Smaller portion of the dough, divide it into four.
  • Roll each part but make sure they’re not bigger than the hole that the dough made in the pan.
  • After you roll the first part, brush it with butter then put the second part on top, do the same for the third part of the dough.
  • The fourth part should be a bit bigger than the rest and is not brushed with butter, place it on the top of the third part and tuck in the sides at the bottom.
  • Place the piece that you made in the middle of the dough that is already on the pan and make eight cuts but not all the way.
  • Make a smaller cut in the middle of each eighth (this should represent a flower).
  • For the smallest portion of the dough, shape it into a cross and place it on top of the dough.
  • Cover the dough with a damped cloth and let it rest while the oven is pre-heating.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/338°F.
  • Brush the top of the dough with milk and egg yolk mixture and bake it until it is golden brown.
  • Let it cool for about20  minutes and serve.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

Healthy Diet Recipe Vegetarian Recipes
Seasonal Cooking Winter Recipes


Calories: 826kcalCarbohydrates: 112gProtein: 19gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 940mgPotassium: 313mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 774IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Česnica Recipe, Traditional Serbian Christmas Bread, Чесница
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cooking tip for making Cesnica

Before you put the coin in, make sure it is properly cleaned. Do that by putting it in the water with baking soda and sterilizing it.

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