Category Archives: Holidays

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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Sweet Onion “Crack Dip”

onioncrackpie

I’ve been seeing this dip posted on several other blogs and was intrigued to make it myself.  I’ve always been a fan of spinach and artichoke dips, so this could possibly be good. This recipe can be found in Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden by Todd Porter and Diane Cu of  the blog White on Rice Couple (one of my favorite food blogs). Anyway, this recipe is super easy, has loads of flavor and is aptly named “crack dip”!
Ingredients
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened/room temp
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 T freshly cracked black pepper
  • toasted Sourdough bread, French baguette, pretzel flats or crackers
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, mayo, Parmesan, onion and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Spread the mixture into a 6-inch baking dish or small oven-safe dish. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until ingredients are melted together and crust is a dark golden brown. The darker brown the crust, the better the flavors.
  4. Serve hot with your favorite bread or crackers. The crispier the better.

This was really good!

 

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Creme Brulee French Toast with Drunken Strawberries

cremebrulefrenchtoast

I found this recipe from epicurious.com a while back and it’s been a staple for brunch menus at my house and I know many of my friends rave about it. I really love it. I added the drunken strawberries to the recipe to make it pop!  It’s really good and so easy to make especially since you have to set it in the fridge over night and then just bake in the morning.  I love this and it’s a crowd pleaser. If you don’t have challah (Whole Foods has great loaves!) you can try other thick sliced bread.

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 challah loaf (sliced 1-in thick)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts (you don’t if you have challah). Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature. Bake, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot French toast immediately.

Drunken Strawberries

  • 1 quart Strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4-inch thick (lengthwise)
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Combine sliced strawberries, sugar, and Grand Marnier in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours up to 24 hours.

Challah!

Challah!

Sliced bread in the creme mixture. It's ready to sit overnight.

Sliced bread in the creme mixture. It’s ready to sit overnight.

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

Drunk strawberries

Drunk strawberries

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