Thanks to my lovely filly sister Karen Kay for letting me piggy-back with her today. I couldn’t resist sharing a paska recipe. Easter blessings to all y’all out there~from me and mine, He is risen indeed!
However, anybody who knows me longer than a day knows I am terrified of cooking with yeast. So I freely admit I’ve never made paska. Maybe this year I’ll give it a shot.
Paska, a dessert-like bread, is usually featured at Easter. With origins in Poland (called kullich) and Ukraine, paska bread is often baked in a round coffee can and topped with a braided-dough cross. Sometimes even a dyed egg.
When served as dessert, paska contains white raisins and cherries and is drizzled with a cream cheese frosting and decorative sprinkles. The cherries symbolize royal jewels in honor of Christ the King. As bread during the main meal, a plain paska is topped only with melted butter.
Although baking soda can be used as leavening, most recipes call for yeast. I’m sharing a recipe today given to me by my Aunt Grace long ago. Her given name was Hrunya. She’s gone now. She and Uncle Ivan (Johnny) died just two weeks apart in 2001 after a marriage of more than 60 years! I wish I’d spent more time cooking with her and learning the details about my heritage and forebears.
PASKA, Russian Easter Bread
½ lb. butter
1 cup sweet cream
1½ cup milk
About 1/3 or slightly more warm water for yeast
2 cups sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon extract
¼ pound yeast
About 12 cups flour
To add: 1 cup each golden raisins, dried cherries, citron, almonds etc.
Scald cream with the milk and butter.
Crumble yeast into warm water and dissolve. Pour into lukewarm milk mixture and add salt, sugar, lemon extract, and eggs.
Add the flour and knead thoroughly.
Let rise once and press down. This might take about an hour; dough should double in bulk.
Let dough rise the second time, and stir in almonds, raisins, and dried fruit. Dough can be sprinkled with sugar during this step. Spoon into greased coffee cans half-full. Or form into rolls, rings, or braided loaves.
(Recipe is unclear as to how many coffee cans; seems you’ll need at least 8.
Bake 325 for 20 minutes.
(When cooled, drizzle with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles, if desired. Or dust with powdered sugar.)
For a modern-day recipe, check out this link: