Ukrainian Easter (Paska) Bread

Ukrainian Easter Bread

Ukrainian Easter Bread

This bread is absolutely fantastic and a staple for Easter morning when I was growing up.  I like it because it’s not too sweet. It is an egg dough which is really amazing in texture at the end. There are other versions of this bread but it is too sweet for my liking. I prefer the mildly sweet Easter bread. At our house we slather REAL butter on top of wedged slices of this bread. I also like to slice hard boiled eggs in rounds and place the slices on top of  the bread wedge.  My father spent time in Norway so we inherited the placement of creamed herring on top of the Easter bread as well. I enjoy it both ways.  This is a recipe that my mother has been using for years from a Ukrainian cookbook that she got when she got married.  I think my mother can make this in her sleep, she’s made it so many times. She often gives the second loaf to someone as a gift.  People always rave about this bread and it’s beauty is obvious. The time spent is well worth the wait.

Makes:
This recipe will make 2 large round and decorated bread loaves.

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 package of yeast (or 2 ¼ tsp of yeast)

Mix in bowl to dissolve yeast and  sugar

  • 3 cups of whole milk (scalded—not hot)

Add scalded milk to yeast mixture

  • 5 cups of bread flour

Add flour, one cup at a time , to above mixture in your kitchenaid with the bread attachment.  Beat/knead until smooth.  It will be a little sticky.

Let rise for 1 hour.  I put in on the top of the oven (or any warm place).

After your dough has risen for 1 hour, add the following mixture (be sure to mix prior to adding to the bread).

  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 TBSP salt

Add this to the first rising of the dough and knead to smooth and satiny. You will need to add flour periodically as you knead.

Cover the dough (again) until the dough has doubled in size (3-4 hours).

After the 2nd rising, punch dough down and let rise for 1 hour.

Divide dough into 3 parts.  2 parts can be put in two separate greased round pans (my mom uses an angel food cake pan) or you can use a large 7-qt cast iron pot or any other oven-save pot.  The last part of dough is what you use to decorate the top.  My mom makes a braid on the top and then puts little balls of dough around this. It makes for a nice decoration after it’s baked.  Be creative here as there isn’t really any wrong way to make it.

Beat 1 egg with some water and make an egg wash and brush all on top of bread before baking.

After you are done with the braids and decoration. Set the pans in a warm place covered until the bread has doubled in size (1-2 hours).

Bake at 400F for 15 minutes then lower the oven to 350F for 40 minutes more.

This bread can be frozen and thawed out the night before Easter.

Dough rising in pot

Dough rising in pot

Easter bread just out of the oven (still in the pot)

Easter bread just out of the oven (still in the pot)

Ukrainian Easter Bread, Easter morning

Ukrainian Easter Bread, Easter morningEaster Bread sliced with colored eggs

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6 thoughts on “Ukrainian Easter (Paska) Bread

  1. Dina A

    Ahna, thank you for the recipe. I also bake this kind of bread for Easter, but my recipe is a little different. So, I will try yours this week! Also, I have to make a little correction here. The name for this kind of bread is “kulich” (кулич). Paska is made with cheese and eggs and has a pyramid form. There are many different recipes for it. Here is a finish recipe that is very similar to russian or ukranian recipes for paska
    http://www.recipelink.com/cgi/msgbrd/msg_script.pl?printer=1&board=3&thread=7138

    Dina

    Reply
  2. Natalka

    My baba would always bake this for Easter, in the Folger’s coffee can …. I Remember one yr she told me not to talk while it was in the oven because it wouldn’t turn out, well it didn’t l.o.l now that she has passed away we get it from the Church and let me tell you, its not the same, as how Baba would make it …..

    Reply
  3. Lindasy

    I love paska. It’s a Ukrainian tradition in my family to make it each year for Easter. My great grandmother used to bake small loaves in Folger’s coffee cans because she couldn’t afford bakeware when she lived in the Ukraine.

    Reply
  4. Cookie

    Thank you for posting this! My Polish Grandmother used to make this bread and regrettably, the recipe died with her. Excited to make this and even more excited to eat-6 eggs and a 1/2 cup butter-yum! Good thing it’s only once a year!

    Reply

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