Paska is an Easter European traditional Easter Sweet Bread. Usually baked with lots of Raisins, citrus zest or vanilla. Some also like to add other dehydrated fruits or nuts. Topped with icing and decorated with sprinkles. This is a center piece of most European households next to decorated hard boiled eggs. Paska was traditionally taken to church on a Sunday morning.
Although it may seem like its difficult to make it at first it really isn’t. The majority of time is spent for them bread to rise. The remainder of hard work your mixer will do.
WHAT IS PASKA MADE OF:
Paska is mainly made of lots of eggs, milk, butter and sugar. It is so buttery and soft with a texture element from raisins. In some ways it is similar to brioche bread.
Step 1: ACTIVATE THE YEAST
When you mix warm milk with a little bit of sugar, yeast and some flour and set it aside this become the activation process. Yeast loves warmth and sugar, you want to make sure you don’t over heat your milk, otherwise too hot of a milk will kill yeast. This step is also great to know if you have a good quality yeast or checking to see if your yeast isn’t expired before you get too far into the process. If after ten minutes you see big bubbles and the mixture starts to rise you know it’s go time.
Step 2: EGG AND SUGAR MIXTURE
In this process you will be whisking eggs and sugar. Then you will add melted but not hot butter. When you whisk all the wet ingredients together it will help incorporate with flour evenly.
Step 3: MAKE DOUGH
Here comes the fun easy part where your mixer does all the hard work. For this step you will want to use your dough hook. Add flour, salt, Egg sugar mixture and yeast and milk mixture. Let the mixer mix for about 10 min. Than you let the dough sit for 30 minutes resting. Don’t bother even removing it from the mixer. Once thirty minutes pass turn it on again to mix for additional 5 minutes.
Step 4: RISING TIME
First part of rising will be where the bread sits in a big bowl and rises for 1 hour.
Second part is when you stretch the bread and add raisins. Then you divide the dough into two molds and let it rise for additional 1-2 hours or until doubled in Size.
Step 5: BAKE PASKA
You will brush each bread with egg wash. To make egg wash you will need 1 egg yolk 3 tbsp of milk, whisk it together and brush each easter bread. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 min for Paska size 5×7 smaller size bake for 20 min
STEP 6: ICING PASKA
To make white icing you will whisk 1 egg white with 1 1/3 cups of powder sugar and 2 tbsp of lemon juice. mix till mixture thickened and shiny white color. Drizzle all over the Paska and top it with sprinkles. Icing will harden within minutes so don’t worry about it staying sticky.
Paska Easter Bread
- 1 Stand Mixer
- 2 Molds
- 4 cups All Purpose flour
- 1 cup Milk Warm
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 2 sticks Butter Unsalted and melted
- 3 piece Eggs Whole
- 2 piece Egg Yolks
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- 2 cups Golden raisins
- 1 piece Yolk egg wash
- 3 tbsp Milk egg wash
- 1 piece Egg white icing
- 1 1/3 cups Powder Sugar icing
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice icing
- In a bowl combine 1/2 cup of flour, 1 cup of warm milk, 2 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar. Mix till well combined and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to activate yeast for approximately 10 minutes.
- In another bowl mix 3 eggs with 2 egg yolks add 1 cup sugar. Slowly while whisking pour in melted butter. Butter should be warm but not hot. Whisk till sugar starts to start dissolving.
- In a stand mixer add 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tsp of salt. Pour in all the mixture you had set aside, Including yeast and milk mixture with egg and sugar mixture. Also add 1 tbsp of Vanilla extract or if you want you can add orange zest instead .
- Using a dough hook mix the dough for 7-10 minutes. Stop and cover the dough to sit for 30 minutes, than turn it on to mix again for additional 5 minutes. Remove the dough hook and let it sit in a warm area covered to rise for 1 hour.
- In the mean time take your golden raisins and soak them in hot water to soften and rehydrate.
- After the dough has been rising for 1 hour, remove it from the bowl on to the counter. Stretche the dough with your hands as much as you can. Spread softened raisins all over . Don't forget to squeeze out any water from the raisins prior.
- Fold the dough from each direction and divide it into two equal parts. Shape it into a ball. No additional flour needed for this process. Place each dough ball into your mold. Let it sit in warm area for 1-2 hours or until the dough has about doubled in size.
- Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush each bread with egg wash. For the egg wash you will need 1 egg yolk with 3 tbsp of milk whisked together. Bake Bread for 30 minutes. If you decide to use smaller molds than 5x7 bread than bake for 20 minutes.
- Now lets make the Icing for the Bread. Using 1 left over egg white add 1 1/3 of powder sugar to it and 2 tbsp of lemon juice. mix well till combined and tick. Spead all over the top of each bread and top it with sprinkles of your choice. This is definitely the fun part to do for kid. Hope you Enjoy!
- It is best eaten warm out of the oven or warmed up the next day for breakfast with jam spread all over a slice of Paska. But you can enjoy Paska at any time of the day hot or cold.