Ukrainian Easter Bread
Ukraine has special meaning for us through Darrold’s Ukrainian mother. Ukrainian Easter bread was always on their table at Easter, and Marty and Darrold tried to carry on the tradition. This is the recipe they have used since they were married and it was handed down to them. They wanted to share it with you, enjoy!
6 3/4 tsp active dry yeast (not instant)
1 Cup lukewarm milk
1/2 tsp Sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 Eggs room temperature
1/2 lb salt-free butter (2 sticks), softened
2 Cups powdered sugar (organic for better flavor), sifted
5 ½ - 6 ½ Cups Heritage White Flour
3/4 Cup raisins, optional.
Pinch of saffron dissolved in the milk, optional
2 Cups powdered sugar (organic if possible for better flavor), sifted to remove clumps
2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
1/4 Cup cold water
Set out butter, eggs and milk to come to room temperature, 1-2 hours before mixing dough.
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the milk and add ½ tsp sugar. Allow the mixture to rest in a warm place. If the yeast clumps, stir vigorously or use a small immersion blender. It won’t hurt the yeast.
Mix together flour and powdered sugar.
Slowly add yeast mixture.
Stir until well combined
Add eggs one at a time and stir them into dough.
Add vanilla, raisins, softened butter, mixing between each addition until all the ingredients are incorporated.
If using a mixer, use your dough hook attachment. If mixing by hand, place dough on a liberally floured counter top.
Knead vigorously until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky. If it's too sticky, you can add more flour as needed (not more than 1-2 cups).
Knead dough for another 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a clean, lightly floured bowl covered with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
Place in a warm area for 1-2 hours until the dough doubles in size.
Punch down dough and form a ball.
To bake the loaves:
Selecting your baking vessel(s): If using metal cans, line each with parchment paper, allowing paper to hang over the top. You can also grease the pans well to ensure easy release.
We use parchment panettone papers for this recipe. They need no preparation.
Put your dough into the baking vessel. The dough will have a good oven spring so make sure the vessel(s) is/are only filled slightly more than halfway.
Cover with a towel and let stand for 30 minutes, meanwhile, heat your oven to 375F.
Bake for 10 minutes, then lower heat to 300F. How long you bake will depend on the size of your holder/pan. Using two panettone papers, it took 55 minutes. Bake until you have an internal temperature of 200-210F. If the tops start to brown too much, cover with foil.
Carefully remove paska from the mold and cool.
Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, if using, and water in a bowl.
When the paska is completely cool, drizzle the icing over the top, letting it run down the sides. It’s supposed to look like a dripping candle.
Many cultures/religions have traditions and decorations around Easter breads. We would love to see photos of yours!