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Cakey Crumb of Kulich - the Russian Easter Cake

Russian Kulich

Kulich is a rich yeasted cake that is served during Easter. It is a popular tradition among the Orthodox Christians of Eastern Europe and Russia to make and serve this cake during Easter. This tall cake is delicious, airy and often decorated with colorful sprinkles or flowers.
Course Bread, Dessert
Cuisine European
Author Syama

Ingredients

  • 4 C All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 ¼ Tsp Active Dry Yeast 1 Pkt / 7g
  • 1 C Milk Whole
  • 3 Eggs Large
  • 1 C Butter
  • ¾ C Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Brandy
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ C Raisins Notes
  • ¼ C Candied Citrus Peel Optional
  • ¼ C Ground Almonds optional

For Glaze

  • 2 C Confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Warm the milk to 110° F or just warm to touch. Mix in 1 Tbsp sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  2. Melt the butter (it should be barely warm).
  3. Use a stand mixer or a spatula for the next steps.
  4. Place the activated yeast mix in the mixing bowl. Add the eggs one by one to the yeasted milk mixture and beat in. Slowly add the melted butter and sugar. Continue mixing. Add 1C by in batches. Keep stirring until all the flour is absorbed into the mix. Set aside covered for an hour to 2 until the mix looks visibly bulked up.
  5. Knead in the remaining flour to the sponge in batches until the mix comes together in one large mass. Keep kneading the dough by hand for 2 to 3 minutes or 30 more seconds in the mixer. If kneading by hand, the dough will be a little sticky at first. But as you keep kneading it will pull away from the hand and hold together. Try not to add extra flour.
  6. Fold in the raisins, peels, and almond. Knead a few more times until all the ingredients seem to have distributed evenly. Bring the dough together into a smooth mass. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap or wet kitchen towel and let rise for 2 hours or until the dough is more than doubled in volume.
  7. Use a spatula to stir and deflate the dough. Divide into 2 six inch circular cake tins fitted with tall collars or similar pans (Notes). Lightly cover the tins and set aside for 30 to 45 minutes until the dough has risen by about an inch.
  8. Place the oven rack in the center. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  9. Bake the loaves for 30 to 35 minutes until the tops are golden. Since it is an enriched dough the internal temperature should be 190F
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool
  11. Mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to make a loose paste. Spread the paste over the tops of the cooled cake. Scatter the sprinkles on top.

Recipe Notes