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Catholic Recipe: Kulich (Russian Sweet Easter Bread)

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105°-115ºº)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (105°-115ºº)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 2-3 cups flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cups toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied mixed fruit
  • Icing
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Details

  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Prep Time: N/A
  • Difficulty: • • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: All
  • Origin: Russia

Also Called: Russian Easter Bread; Koulich; Kulitchy; Koolich; koulitchy

This bread still highlights Easter in the Soviet Union. People bring a loaf to church for the priest to bless and then serve it as part of dessert following Easter Dinner. Point out when you serve it as part of dessert following Easter dinner. Point out when you service it that the frosted top represents a church dome with snow on it.

DIRECTIONS

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Combine warm milk, sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract, cardamom, salt, and lemon peel in a large bowl. Add 1-1/2 cups flour, yeast mixture, and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add almonds and candied fruit. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth—about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double—about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down dough. Shape into a ball; try to get a nicely rounded top. Place in well-greased 1-pound coffee can. Cover; let rise in warm place until double—about 45 minutes. Bake in a preheated 350ºF over 35-40 minutes or until done. Cool on wire rack.

Mix thoroughly confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Spoon icing over top of kulich, allowing to drip down sides. If you wish to be traditional, use candied fruit to form letters "XB," standing for "Christ is risen."

Recipe Source: Festive Bread Book, The by Kathy Cutler, Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1982
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