Easter Bread from Eastern lands

Posted on: April 2nd, 2010 by admin 1 Comment

How to decide what traditional Easter bread to make this year?  Almost every European country has a version.  Granted they are all similar but which to choose? Bulgarian Kozunak, Czech Velikonocni bochanek, Hungarian Fonott kalacs, Lithuanian Velykos pyragas, Polish Babka, Romanian Cozonac, Russian Kulich, ahhhh the list is endless as you go across Europe everywhere has a sweet bread baked on holidays.  We made Greek Easter biscuits last year- Koulourakia and Hot cross buns!  But now it’s time forrrrr,

Paska- Ukrainian Easter Bread

  • 2/3 c milk
  • 1/4 c + 1/3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90 g (3 oz) butter
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/3 c warm water
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 2/3 c all-purpose flour
  • milk or beaten egg yolk

In a small saucepan, heat milk, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and butter over low heat until butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.

Place the warm water in a mixing bowl and add the 1/3 Tbsp sugar and then add the yeast.  Let proof for 5 minutes (the yeast gets nice and foamy). Add egg, milk mixture and about half the flour. If you’re using a mixer use the dough hook attachment and mix on speed 2 for 1 minute.  Otherwise you’re going to get some major muscles using a wooden spoon!

Continue mixing and add remaining flour a bit at a time, mix another 2 minutes or until the dough clings to hook and cleans the sides of bowl. Continue mixing until dough is smooth and elastic. It will be slightly sticky to touch.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1-2 hours or until doubled. Punch down dough, break off a couple small pieces of dough for making decorations. Shape dough into a round loaf and place in greased round (18x8cm or 7×3 inch) bread pan. Using the extra dough, decorate with a cross in center or braids around the edge. Cover and let rise in warm place again for 1-2 hours or until doubled.

I particularly love the fact that Ukrainian Easter bread looks a lot like it’s prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s hair.

Heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Gently brush the top of the risen dough with milk or beaten egg yolk (Or if you want a soft crust don’t brush anything on, bake, then brush butter ontop once it’s done). Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the pan immediately and cool on wire rack.

ALTERNATIVE: You can double this recipe and make a loaf AND Paska Peeps.  Which are little rolled out ropes of dough, tied in knots with a short end sticking out for the head and the long end for the tail. Position the knot so that it looks like wings sticking up and head is in an upright position. Tweak the head to shape a beak and embed cloves (cut off the stem end) for little eyes!  Cover and let rise for 20 minutes and brush with egg or milk. Bake these on a cookie sheet for just 15 minutes.

HAPPY EASTER!!

Song for this recipe: “Black Ivanka” Ukrainian Folk Song Ensemble Ukrainian Folk Song Ensemble, V. Solovyanenko, B.Gmyrya, I. Kozlovskiy, N.Zakharchenko, A.Ivanova - Ukraine - Les Voix de la Steppe - Black Ivanka

Original recipe (highly) adapted from: Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2004.

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One Response

  1. [...] Delicious Paska – Ukranian Easter Bread That was a hard choice between European Easter Breads. [...]

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