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Catholic Recipe: St. Stephen's Horns


  • 1 package active dry, or cake, yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sweet butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • poppy seed, nuts, or cheese
  • cream
  • Details

  • Yield: 4 dozen
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: • • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: Central Europe

Also Called: Podkovy

In honor of the Saint's patronage over horses, special breads in the form of horseshoes are baked on December 26 in Poland and other Slavic countries. These "horns of St. Stephen" (podkovy) are made of sweet dough and shaped in the form of large, heavy crescents, filled with jam or poppy seeds or ground nuts. They serve as coffee-bread on St. Stephen's Day.


Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk. Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sour cream, yeast-milk mixture, lemon juice, rind. Cut butter and shortening into dry ingredients; add to egg mixture. Chill 1 hour. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut in rectangles. Sprinkle rectangles with poppy seeds, nuts, or cheese. Close. Shape into horns. Brush with cream. Bake on greased baking sheets 12-15 minutes at 375°.

Recipe Source: Catholic Cookbook, The by William I. Kaufman, The Citadel Press, New York, 1965
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