Catholic Recipe: Koulich (Quick Russian Coffee Cake)
Also Called: Koulich; Kulich; Russian Sweet Easter Bread; Resurrection Bread; Koolitch; Koulitchy
In the older Russia Easter was a day of great feasting. On long tables were placed roasted pig and sausages and sweet tarts. And there was especially the Paskha of cheese and the Koulich, the latter a bread so delicate that pillows were put about the pan in which the dough was rising so that it would not fall; anxious housewives kept husbands with heavy boots and frolicking children out of the kitchen until the Koulich was safely out of the oven. Deep in the top of this cake were formed the letters "X V", the initials of the words meaning "Christ is risen."
This is a quicker version, starting with a premade hot roll mix.
Dissolve yeast from hot roll mix in water in large bowl. Add egg, raisins, almonds, lemon rind, and dry mix; stir well. Let rise in warm place until double in bulk (45 minutes). Shape 2/3 of dough into a ball; place in well-greased i-pound coffee can (can will be 1/2 full). Shape remaining dough into ball; place in well-greased 16-ounce can. Cover; let rise until double in bulk (about 60 minutes). Bake small loaf 30-35 minutes at 350°. Bake large loaf 35-40 minutes at 350°. Combine confectioners' sugar, milk; dribble over warm cakes. Decorate with candies, candied cherries, almonds. Place one on top of other, or serve separately. Yield, 1 large and 1 small loafRecipe Source: Catholic Cookbook, The by William I. Kaufman, The Citadel Press, New York, 1965