Ukrainian Paska (Easter Bread)
We love hot cross buns but why not try something a little different this Easter. Here's our version of Ukrainian Paska, a soft, sweet Easter bread (similar to brioche). Bread made from this recipe keeps well for two to three days at room temperature and freezes well, too. Don't forget that this is a celebratory bread, in other words, it is meant to be shared. Take a slice and pass it on.
250mls Bella Vacca Jersey milk
5g caster sugar
60 ml Bella Vacca Jersey milk
2 farm fresh egg (+ one yolk)
15g raw native honey
70g caster sugar
½ tablespoon lemon zest
½ tablespoon orange zest
½ tablespoon vanilla essence
½ teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g butter, melted
1 cup sultanas
Icing & Toppings:
1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3-4 Tablespoons icing sugar
1. To make the yeast stater, gently heat milk until slightly warm to the touch. Add the warmed milk to a medium bowl with the yeast and sugar. Slowly add in the flour mixing until combined, it’s fine if the mixture has some clumps. Set aside in a warm place and cover with a tea towel to proof for approx. 15 minutes or until foamy.
2. To make the dough base, add the flour to a large bowl, then the yeast mixture along with the milk, two eggs, and honey. Knead the dough until everything is well incorporated. Add the sugar, lemon and orange zest, vanilla, and spices, continue to knead until the sugar and spices are incorporated also. Spread the dough in the bottom of the bowl and gradually pour in the butter kneading between each pour. The dough will become quite sticky, cover with a clean tea towel, and put in a warm place to proof for 2 hours.
3. Once the dough has proofed and doubled in size, gently turn out onto a clean, oiled work surface. Cut the dough in half returning half back to the bowl.
4. Working with half of the dough sprinkle over the sultanas and gently knead to incorporate them. Work dough into a round shape with fingertips then lift and place into the bottom of a baking paper lined round tin. Place back into your warm spot while you work with the remaining half of the dough.
5. With the remaining half of the dough, cut into thirds. Roll out each piece of dough into an approximately 60cm length. Then gently plat the lengths together. Retrieve your tin and gently place the plat on top of the dough in a spiral shape. Cover and place back into the warm spot to rise for a final 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Brush the top of the plat with egg yolk and place into the preheated oven to bake for 30 minutes.
7. Once cooked, remove from the oven, and let cool slightly before removing from cake tin and place on a cooling rack.
8. To make the Icing, combine Icing sugar and lemon juice, and mix into a smooth paste adding a little more lemon juice or icing sugar to reach your desired consistency.
9. Once the bread has completely cooled, drizzle over icing and garnish with sliced almonds, additional orange zest and edible flower petals.
10. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea, and any leftovers can be sliced up to make delicious French toast!
Total active prep time: 1 hour | Inactive time: 2.5 hours proof time + 30min bake time
Recipe, styling and photography by Lena Fischer