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.
2 ¼TspActive Dry Yeast1 Pkt / 7g
¼CCandied Citrus PeelOptional
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.
Melt the butter (it should be barely warm).
Use a stand mixer or a spatula for the next steps.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Place the oven rack in the center. Preheat the oven to 350°F
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
Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool
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.
Use unbleached flour, preferably organic. All purpose flour or bread flour will work in this recipe.
Use strips of parchment paper stapled/clipped together to make a circular sleeve in the cake pans. You could use panettone molds as well - these are available online.
You could use metal cans (plastic free) or popover molds or similar to make these as well. When using these reduce the baking time by at least a third and be sure to check.
Use a mix of dried fruit, nuts and peel. I use ½ C raisins and leave out the almonds and peels.
For detailed instructions go to https://oventales.com/kulich/ .