Paska (Ukrainian Easter Bread) – Bakeware Suggestions
One of my favorite traditions for Ukrainian Easter is baking Paska, a special bread, which takes center stage on the breakfast table for Easter, and is the main part of the Easter Basket, among other special foods, being blessed on Holy Saturday, or Easter Sunday.
I already shared with you my favorite Paska recipe, and many of you asked about the kind of pans to use for baking this bread, since the traditional Ukrainian Easter Paska should be round, in shape.
I decided to write this short post, and share some ideas of the kind of bakeware to use for baking paska.
The above pans are my favorite ones to use. They have quite thick walls and bottom, are just the right size for paska for my basket (the largest one), and the smaller ones were always great for small paskas for my children’s baskets. The largest one is 6 1/2 inches in diameter, and 3 inches tall.
These are stainless steel mixing bowls, which also are great for baking paska. These are larger in size than the first set, they have thinner walls, and the bottom is not as flat, but still very convenient to use.
These are glass bowls by Pyrex. Very convenient to use for baking paska, but you will need to allow less time for baking, than in the other pans. Also, you have to be careful with handling these hot glass vessels, as not to burn yourself or place them on a cold surface, so they don’t crack.
These containers are made by Corning Ware, and excellent for baking paska. May daughter used these for her paska, and it worked like a charm. You need to make sure to grease well the upper lip of the posts, and dust it lightly with flour, as it flares out, so the paska does not stick, making it difficult to remove. You might need to loosen the edges up with a knife, so you do not damage your paska during removal for cooling.
Here is a clay flower pot, which was suggested to me by one of my readers (this one is for display only, as I am actually using it for my plant), is also a great container to use for baking paska. She recommended to use olive oil to grease the inside, before filling it with paska dough.
I have yet to try to use this idea for baking paska, but it sure makes perfect sense, since I am aware of terracotta cookware which some cooks highly recommend. I would take a little more careful handling, so you don’t scratch your work surface, as terracotta pots usually do not have very smooth bottoms.
Some bakers use large coffee cans ( like those from Folgers or Maxwell House), line the inside sides and bottom of the can with a thick brown paper (brown paper grocery bags), greased of course, and cut about 1 inch taller than the can,to prevent the rising dough from spilling over. These paskas are nice and tall, thus easy to arrange in an Easter Basket for blessing.
Tip: If you are using different sizes of bakeware, at the same time, keep the larger ones towards the back of the oven, and the smaller ones closer to the front, as the smaller ones will be done sooner, and more accessible for removal from the oven.