Prep. time: 45 minutes
Rising time: 6 hours
Cooking time: 50-60 minutes
Ukrainians have their own version of paska. Like brioche, it is a very rich and cakey bread made with eggs and butter. Since the dough is fairly dense, it must be needed a long time to aerate it and lighten it. It should be left to rise in a warm draft-free room.
Paska is traditionally made with raisins; however every housewife has her own individual touch: some add walnuts or almonds, or dried or candied fruits.
It is not served just for dessert. During Easter this pastry replaces bread and so many people eat it with first and main courses.
The icing is made from egg whites and icing sugar. Some cooks add a little lemon juice or apricot brandy.
- In a bowl, dissolve the dry yeast in the warm milk (25 °C) with a pinch of sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Add 500 g flour to the yeast mixture, stirring well to avoid lumps.
- Cover the starter with a cloth and set in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
- Separate the eggs.
- Whisk 5 yolks with the sugar until light and pale.
- Beat the whites to stiff peaks.
- Gently fold together the egg yolks and whites until thoroughly combined.
- Melt the butter and cool to lukewarm.
- Add the eggs, remaining flour, vanilla powder, melted butter and salt to the starter.
- Knead well to form a smooth, non-sticky dough.
- Cover and set aside to rise again for 2 hours in a warm place. Use a large bowl to allow the dough to expand. If it rises too much, it can be knocked back.
- Meanwhile, soak the raisins in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry on a towel.
- Add the dried fruits and lemon zest to the dough and incorporate well. Cover and let rise another hour in a warm place.
- Butter the baking pan (or individual molds, at least 8 cm high), and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Fill the pan one-third full. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for another hour.
- Brush the top of the bread with the remaining egg yolk.
- Bake in a preheated 180° C/350° F oven for 50-60 minutes.
- In a bowl beat 2 egg whites with a pinch of salt.
- When the whites are fairly stiff, mix in the 100 g icing sugar.
- Remove the cake from oven and transfer to a rack. Let cool 5 minutes.
- Coat the warm Easter cake with icing.
Photo : ID 38705359 / Anastasiia Buinovska / MSCOMM
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