Monday, 23 April 2012

Paska- ukrainian easter bread

I have already mentioned this  type of bread before and now it's the time for the recipe.

This recipe belongs to my mom's friend Marika ( thanx to them both for sharing it).

The original recipe calls for fresh yeast, but  personally i  prefer to use instant yeast. 

If u would like to use fresh or dry yeast here is the converter:
7 grams instant yeast  = 21 grams fresh yeast =9 grams active dry yeast.

Because fresh yeast has moisture in it, you should use 3 times the fresh yeast in weight for the same rising ability of instant yeast and 2.5 times the amount for active dry yeast.
Also i used  a strong baking flour for bread.

Pasca recipe:
(makes 2 big loves or 4 small)

This recipe requires 3 dough rising, so be patient.

17 gr instant yeast=50 gr fresh yeast= 21.5 gr dried yeast 
200 ml of warm milk  
250 gr flour
60 gr sugar

750 gr flour
100 gr sugar
200 gr milk
3 eggs
100 gr butter, melted and cooled plus extra for greasing
2 tsp salt
100 gr raisins

1 egg, beaten
My loyal partner in the kitchen ( Breville)

First few more tips
1) Don't use a measuring cup for scooping the flour!  the weight will be always different from volume!
2) Always sift the flour, this process enriches  flour with air which helps the bread to raise.
3) Close all the doors and windows. The yeast dough doesn't like draft and cold.
4) Eggs should be at room temperature. If u forgot to take them out before, just put them for 5 minutes in warm water.
5) Read the whole recipe before you start baking
6) Buy an oven thermometer ( they are not expensive but can save you from a lot of troubles. For example  the temperature that my oven shoves differs from the real temperature for 20 C/68 F.

Let's start then.

Combine yeast and milk, leave it for 10 minutes to dissolve completely.
Add sugar and flour, mix for 8-10 minutes, transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with film and then with a bath towel. 
 Put the bowl in a non draft place ( i put mine into the oven) and let it rise for 2,5 hours. 

When the dough has risen put it back to the mixer bowl and add the rest of ingredients, mix for 8-10 minutes ( the dough should remain a little bit sticky but should come off easily from the walls of the bowl). Turn the dough back to the oiled bowl, cower with plastic wrap and with the towel. Leave it to rise for another 2,5 hours. 

After 2,5 hours u can divide the dough between your forms but before it, turn your oven  to 180 C/356 F.  
I use 1 liter enamel cups and a round form for a cake, but u can put this in any form u like, there is only one rule about it- it should be round.

So, grease your forms generously with butter fill them up with the dough to 1/3 of volume, cover with a towel and let it rise for 1 more hour. Before placing your dough into the oven grease the top of the bread with a beaten egg. Bake for 30 minutes.  Check with the toothpick if the inside of the bread is ready (the toothpick should come out dry). The top of the bread should nice caramel color.
Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool in the forms for 30 minutes after transfer to the wire rack and let it cool completely.
This bread tastes the best with the butter and smoked ham:)

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