Paska is the traditional Easter bread made in many Eastern European countries. It is a flavorful enriched bread that is decorated intricately. Traditionally this bread is taken to the church to be blessed before finding its place at the dinner table.
Keyword Easter Bread, Enriched bread
Total Time 3hours20minutes
9-inch Springform Pan
4Tsp Active Dry Yeast (7g or 2 pkts)
1 1/2CMilk , Whole or 2%(350g)
2 1/4TspSalt (14g)
1/2 TspVanilla Extract
Activate the yeast
Warm the milk to 110°F or just warm to touch. Dissolve 1 tsp of the sugar in 1/2 cup of the milk and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside in a warm space for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast turns bubbly.
Make the dough
By HandTake the flour in a large mixing bowl, add the salt and sugar and stir well. Make a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Whisk the eggs with a fork to break them up. Add the yeast mix to it and start kneading. Slowly add the remaining milk and keep kneading until all the flour is mixed in. The dough at this point should be wet and a little sticky. Keep kneading for 2 more minutes and add the butter. Knead for another 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be getting less sticky and smoother at this time. If still sticky add a couple more tablespoons of flour. Knead for 2 to 3 more minutes until the dough feels soft and pliable and a little glossy.
In MachineAdd the flour, salt, and sugar to the mixing bowl. Fit the kneading hook and set the machine on stir or setting 0. Let it mix for 30 seconds. Add the yeast, eggs, softened butter, milk, and sugar to the bowl. Set the machine to low or setting 1 and knead for about 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed. By this time the dough should come together in s soft mass. If needed add a few more tablespoons of flour and knead for 1 more minute.
The Fist Rise
Form the dough into a smooth ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Roll the dough in the bowl once so all sides are lightly coated with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled - about 1 hour.
Shape and the Second Rise
Punch down the dough. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Divide the dough into halves. Form one half into a disc and press into the bottom of the springform pan. Divide the remaining dough into 3 pieces. Form each piece into a rope and create a long 3 strand braid. Place the braid on top of the outer edges of the disc leaving an open area in the middle. Pinch off the extra length from the braid and form into any desired shape and place in the middle. Cover and let rise until almost doubled.
Preheat the oven to 350°F(175°C). Beat an egg with 1 tsp water to make an egg wash. Brush the tops of the bread with the egg wash just before baking. Place in the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Check the bread at around 30 minutes to see whether the tops are browning too rapidly. If so, reduce the temperature to 325°F(160°C) and cover the bread with aluminum foil. The bread is done when the internal temperature reaches 190°F (88°C).
Remove from the oven and rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
If adding raisins, knead them in by hand towards the end of kneading.
If using vanilla add it along with milk.
If using saffron, add it to warmed milk.
If using coarse sugar to decorate sprinkle it on top of the loaf after brushing the eggwash.
Use high protein flour like bread flour or All-Purpose flour with high protein content.
You can add one or more extra yolks to give the loaf a more golden color.
Alternately use two 8-inch or 9 inch loaf pans
When changing pans the baking times will change, check at 30 minutes and adjust temperature and time if needed.
For more details on adjusting temperature and time refer to the bake section of the post.
For detailed instructions go to https://oventales.com/ukranian-paska/ .