We’re dealing with Easter here so we must expect something eggs and delightful to the taste.  Ukraine’s Easter bread called, “paska” is enough to make a rare but delectable treat on this special day.  Sweet, savory and graced with raisins, paska, can also be a great starter set on your breakfast table.  If you’re into celebrating Easter, complement it with the presence of kielbasa, potato salad, hard boiled eggs, veggies and ham.

Ukranian Easter Bread Paska
Ukranian Easter Bread Paska

Ingredients

For the sponge:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 packets of 0.75 oz yeast
  • 2 cups of warm water

 

For the bread:

  • 5 lb. bag flour (provide additional for kneading)
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten (plus an extra one for the brushing of the loaves)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 lb. (or about 4 sticks) of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Golden raisins – as many or as few as you like
  • 1-2 tbsp. of salt

 

Directions

For the sponge:

  1. Prepare an extra huge stock pot and combine there all the sponge ingredients. Cover the pot with lid and let it rest in a warm place for about an hour until the mixture is all bubbly.

 

For the bread:

  1. While you are waiting for the sponge, blend in the butter and milk into a saucepan. Heat the mixture to completely melt the butter and scald the milk.  Afterwards, let it sit in a room temperature to cool.
  2. Once the sponge is ready, add about a third of the butter and milk mixture. Also, add 1/3 of the eggs, 1/3 of the sugar and a bit less of the third of flour.  You can also put in the salt and mix them all together using your hands until they’re all mixed well.
  3. Again add another third of the ingredients (note the ingredients from Step 2) until they’re combined.
  4. Put the remaining butter and milk mixture, eggs and sugar this time. However, just add the flour gradually until the dough doesn’t stick in your hands already.
  5. Add your desired amount of golden raisins.
  6. Put back the lid on the pot and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for at least 2.5 hours.
  7. Punch down the dough and let it rise again for another 2 hours.
  8. Punch it down for the last time and divide it into four 9-inch round pans (or tube pans) with high sides.
  9. Lay clean towels over the dough portions and let them rise in the pan for at least an hour.
  10. Preheat your oven into 350⁰F and start brushing the tops of the dough portions with egg wash. Bake the loaves for about 45 minutes or until they achieve the golden brown shade. You can also check them by tapping each loaf lightly.  If it produces a hollow sound, then it’s ready.
  11. Let the loaves cool completely before you remove them from their respective pans.
  12. Slice them in your desired portions and serve.

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