When I was researching recipes to make for Easter, I stumbled on this Ukrainian Easter bread. We have wonderful friends from Ukraine who we love like family, so I really wanted to try making an Easter bread from their home country. Paska is a delicious sweet bread eaten on Easter. Ukraine adheres to the Orthodox calendar, which celebrates Easter a week after we celebrate in the United States. Ukrainian Easter Paska is often brought to the church in the morning to be blessed by the priest, along with other foods during the Easter church service.
What is Ukrainian Easter Paska?
Paska is an enriched dough which is typical of Easter breads, many of which are consumed after a period of Lent where sweets and decadent foods are fasted from for a time. This Ukrainian Easter Paska is a brioche-like dough studded with dried fruit and a delicious lemon icing on top. They are baked in special paper molds, similar to panettone. Paska can also be made in a larger mold, though you would have to adjust the baking time. And speaking of time, this recipe does take a LONG time. It has three “rise” periods and it takes so long because of all of the heavy ingredients in the dough (eggs, butter, sour cream). Despite the amount of time for rising, this dough doesn’t require kneading. I think Ukrainian Easter Paska would be a perfect baking project to make with kids for that reason.
Easter Books for Kids That Relate to Paska
If you want to teach your kids a little about Easter in Ukraine and Russia, here are a few books that go along very well with this yummy recipe. Check them out from your library, watch them being read on YouTube or purchase them on Amazon. You can’t go wrong with Easter books that teach about a new culture.
Regardless of whether you read a book about Ukrainian Easter, this recipe is a fun one to make with kids. When I texted the photo of the finished Paska to my friend, she was delighted to say it looked similar to their Easter bread! I wish I could have shared one with her with a cup of the delicious orange infused tea she makes. Making this delicious Ukrainian Easter Paska bread would have only been better if we could have shared it together. Hopefully soon!
Ukrainian Easter Paska
- 1 cup whole milk warm
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4-5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup currants, raisins or craisins
- 12 mini panettone paper molds
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 Tablespoon heavy cream
- Whisk together milk, eggs, yeast, sugar, melted butter (not hot!), salt, sour cream and vanilla. Add 2 cups of flour and whisk together. The batter will be thick but won’t form a dough yet. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
- Add 2-3 cups more of flour until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. Stir in the currants, raisins or craisins (your choice). The dough will still feel a little sticky. This dough does not require kneading. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 2 more hours.
- Set up 12 panettone molds on a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and fill each mold. Try not to knead it or push it down too much. Let the dough rise another 2 hours until the molds are almost full.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature and then remove the wrapper if desired.
- To make the icing: whisk together 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and ½ Tablespoon cream. Add a little more cream if it’s too thick, or a little more powdered sugar if it’s too runny. Pour glaze over each Paska and top with sprinkles before the glaze sets.