Ukrainian Easter Paska – Ukrainian Easter Bread
Easter is upon us, hence time to prepare not only our soul but also the menu for this beautiful holiday.
I love Ukrainian Easter traditions, as well as the beauty of the beginning of spring.
I already shared several posts with you about Ukrainian Easter traditions, so today I will just let you know that my Paska is already baked, and ready for basket blessing.
Every year I make at least one Paska for each of my children and my grandchildren, so everyone has their own bread for Easter.
I use my favorite recipe for Paska, which yields 7, above pictured loaves of bread. Three larger ones for my children, and 4 smaller ones for my grandchildren.
You may alter the above-linked recipe by substituting 2 cups of regular flour with 2 cups of cake flour (Softasilk), and use only 1/4 cup of butter plus 1/4 cup of canola oil. These changes make the bread smoother, more cake-like, but less crumbly.
Also, if you like raisins, you may add 2 cups of GOLDEN raisins (they look more appealing in the paska bread). You add raisins with the second half of the flour for the final mix.
I also used my KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook, to mix the dough for most of the part, and still hand knead it for about 15 minutes to give it a more airy texture.
To speed up the dough rising process of your Paska, try preheating your oven to 200 degrees F for 2 minutes, turn off the oven, and place your covered dough in the oven until doubles in bulk. I do this with the first half of the start-up dough, then after I knead it. I also have the filled pans, this time UNCOVERED, to rise there the same way. Of course, you need to preheat the oven the same way for each of these steps.
To prevent your Paska from browning too much, you may lay a loose sheet of aluminum foil over the bread, about 15 minutes before it is fully baked, which is about 30 minutes from the beginning of baking. You should NOT open the oven for the first 15 minutes of baking, to prevent the Paska dough from dropping.
Enjoy you Paska baking, you still have few more days to get it done, Pysanka making, Easter Basket Blessing, and of course the Easter Sunday church service, and special Easter food brunch.