Try something new this Easter season, and dip into the Russian recipe ocean. This Russian Easter bread is delicious, wholesome and will feed an entire village.
Russian Easter bread or kulich
Serving size 6–8 small loaves
Russian Easter bread or kulich (paska in some regions) is baked in large batches, yielding several smaller loaves. You might want to reduce the ingredients if you're baking for just a few people. It can be baked in a special kulich pan, but usually coffee tins are used instead, as the bread is traditionally cylindrical and not baked in a loaf pan. So save some of those for this baking expedition.
- 2 cups milk
- 10 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2-1/2 cups butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 2 cups raisins
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 12 cups flour
- Sprinkles (optional)
- Per tradition, separate 2 egg yolks, and put them in a container (you will use them in the glaze later). Beat the remainder of the eggs with a pinch of salt, and store both mixtures in the fridge overnight. This isn't absolutely necessary, though; if you're in a rush, just beat the eggs on the day of baking, but know that it will make your Easter bread more saturated in colour.
- In a medium bowl, pour the milk (must warm, test on wrist), a tablespoon of sugar and a sprinkle the dry active yeast, and leave for 10–15 minutes or until foamy.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter, and add the nutmeg and vanilla extract.
- Pour the refrigerated egg mixture into the milk, then add the remainder of the sugar and the melted butter, and mix until well combined.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the liquid yeast mixture, and mix roughly. Add the raisins, and knead until the dough is elastic and not sticky. Cover the dough with a damp tea towel, and allow it to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
- Distribute the dough evenly among your greased coffee tins, and allow it to rise for another 30 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the bread in the oven, and bake for about an hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread cool on a rack for 10 minutes before pouring on the glaze.
- Mix the powdered sugar with the two refrigerated egg yolks.
- Pour evenly on top of the loaves.
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