Russian Pascha Bread
Symbolic of Christ, who is our True Bread
Don't have pics from last year, but this one is from Mt. Holyoke's website:
Here's one from Russians in Australia:
And a shorter, fatter variation from Finnish Cloudberry Quark resting next to a beautiful Cheese Paska.
I made this recipe our first Pascha - we had officially been chrismated into the Orthodox Church for a few hours, that Holy Saturday afternoon when I took to the kitchen.
We didn't think we'd like candied peel, so we replaced it with dried cherries when we changed up a recipe from Cakes & Cake Decorating.
I've used new clay flower pots, coffee tins, and even a 2-cup and 4-cup glass mixing cup before. Whatever you use - grease it well and line the bottoms with waxed paper and flour the sides. If you want a really tall dome, folllow the directions on the My House and Garden recipe.
1 TBS yeast
6 TBS tepid milk
6 TBS sugar (divided into 2TBS and 4 TBS)
4&1/2 cup all-purpose flour (divided into 1/2 cup and 4 cup)
pinch of saffron strands
2 TBS dark rum
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cumin
4 TBS butter
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup or so of dried cherries
1/2 to 1 cup of slivered almonds
1: Blend & Sit
bowl one - yeast, milk, 2 TBS sugar, and 1/2 cup flour.
bowl two - saffron and rum
Let sit about 15 minutes.
2: Bread Dough
Sift remaining flour into a bowl and rub in butter and remaining sugar. Make a well and work in yeast mixture, saffron mixture, and everything else to make dough.
3: Knead & Rise
Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes, until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1&1/2 hours or until doubled.
4: Ready, Set, Bake
Preheat oven to 375 F. Knock back the dough, divide it (this recipe makes one 4c. glass measuring cup and 1 small coffee tin) and form into round lumps. Press the lump into the bottom of the pot, cover and rise for another 1/2 hour. Bake for 35-50minutes, depending on your pot. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
Mix 3/4 cup powdered sugar with 2 tsp warm water and 1 tsp amlmod extract until smooth. Pour over the dome so that the glaze drips down the sides a little. Decorate with nuts & cherries, leaving room for a candle in the middle.
At our Russian parish, everyone had one of these and lit the candles and Father blessed them all along with the Pascha baskets. At other parishes, we've been the only ones with Kulich, but usually everyone enjoys it.
Kulich is the very best sliced and spread with Cheese Paska. My version of Cheese Paska coming soon...
For Pascha bread recipes from different cultures, visit here.
And remember, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) your Pascha recipes and I'll host a Pascha Food Carnival.