Paska is, hands-down, my favourite Easter food tradition. The usual suspects – perogies, cabbage rolls, perishke – all make an appearance, of course. But it’s the Paska that I fill up on. It’s usually force fed to me by my Baba along side a cup of tea.
In all fairness, I do love the stuff (and my Baba) so it’s not entirely torturous.
Back home in Winnipeg, and in most of Manitoba, you can find fresh baked Paska at any grocery store at Easter. Here in Saskatchewan, not so much. I may have seen it once or twice in the past, but it’s not nearly as prevalent as back home.
So if I want it, I have to make it myself.
Paska is an Easter bread with Eastern European roots. It’s made with a soft dough enriched with eggs, butter and sugar (you know, the good stuff), then formed into a round loaf and topped with ornate braids, twists and swirls. I’m fond of the addition of raisins, but it’s completely optional.
The egg wash before baking is crucial if you want to achieve that beautiful, glossy browned crust – don’t skip it!
Paska is best when it’s fresh out of the oven and still a touch warm. Cut a few awkwardly large slices, slather on some butter, (or in my sweet nephews case, some jam) and indulge in my favourite Easter treat.