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updated APR 14 2017

Ukrainian Recipes: Ukrainian Easter Bread - Paska

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This recipe makes roughly 3 loaves (and its really, really yummy!!).

Read my blog posting on this recipe - I think some changes might be in order, but I won't list them here until I'm sure.

1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 pkg. yeast
* * * * * * * * *
8 or 9 cups flour
      1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt
3 cups lukewarm water
6 beaten eggs
1/4 cup melted butter

- Dissolve the sugar in 1/2 cup lukewarm water and sprinkle yeast over it. Let stand for 10 minutes.

- Combine the softened yeast with beaten eggs, sugar, butter, salt and water. Mix in the flour and knead until smooth and elastic. The dough should be just a little stiffer than for bread. Cover, let rise in warm place until double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again. Made a round, 1-inch thick base of dough and cover the bottom of a round, greased pan.

- Take 2 equal pieces of dough. Roll each, with your fingers, to a 36" length; place side by side. Follow the diagram below, to entwine the two lengths (the straight red line indicates the center of the dough lengths). Starting from the center, entwine each length about the other. It is important to keep straightening the dough as you go, so you don't get a deformed twist (indicated by the red arrows, below). Do the other half in like manner.

Figure 1

- Place the entwined length on the base in a circle along the edge (see orange arrow below). Roll 4 equal-sized pieces of dough each to 12-14" length. Take 2 pieces, and entwine them as above. Then take the other two, and entwine them. Lay one entwined length on the base (purple arrow), and lay the other entwined length (blue arrow) at a 90° angle, so the layout is as below. Let rise to double in bulk.

Figure 2

From the Ukrainian Bread Calendar Here's an example of the decorating potential of a paska. This image from the Ukrainian Bread Calendar, 1991, by Mary Stefura.
- Beat an egg well in a small bowl. Brush the bread surface with this egg, and then bake in a hot oven (400° F) for 10-15 minutes. Lower heat to 350° F and bake for 40 minutes more or until done. The bread is done when you tap the bread with your fingertips, and hear a dull, "thump" sound.

Pillsbury has a nice page giving hints and tricks for yeast and kneaded breads, check it out!

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