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Catholic Recipe: Paska (Ukrainian Easter Bread)

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • melted butter, if desired
  • Details

  • Prep Time: N/A
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: Ukraine

Ukrainians like to place Paska in a basket with decorated eggs and take the arrangement to church for the priest's blessing. Afterward they eat the food as Easter breakfast. You'll enjoy this as an Easter bread that's properly festive but not too heavy. Yields 1 loaf.

DIRECTIONS

Beat egg and egg yolk until fluffy and light. Add 2 cups flour, sugar, salt yeast, lemon peel, orange peel, vanilla and raisins. Mix thoroughly.

Heat milk and butter to hot (120 to 130 degrees F). Add to flour mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Add enough remaining flour to form 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 hour.

Punch down dough. Set aside a little of the dough to be used as decoration on top fo the loaf. Shape the rest into a ball.

Place in greased cake pan 3 inches deep and 6 inches across or 1 quart souffle dish. Make cross of remaining piece of dough; place on top of loaf.

Cover; let rise in warm place until double -- about 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 45-60 minutes or until done. Cool on wire rack. While still warm, brush with melted butter if desired.

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