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Ukrainian Paska Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup scaled milk
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 pkgs 4 + 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • rind of 1/2 one lemon
  • rind of 1/2 one small orange
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6-7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 cups raisins
  • 1 egg to brush tops of loaves

Instructions

  1. Scaled milk (Bring to 180 degrees F). Set aside.
  2. Dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup water. Add yeast and stir to combine. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, gradually add in sugar. Mix until slightly frothy. Add in melted butter, eggs, lemon and orange rinds and juice, salt and raisins. Mix thoroughly. Pour in milk and yeast and mix until combined.

  4. Change the attachment to the dough hook. Slowly add flour, one cup at a time, until the dough is soft and holds its shape. The dough should still be slightly sticky. You do not want to add too much flour, or your bread will be dense and heavy. The bowl might not be big enough, so you may have to transfer to a clean counter and continue to knead by hand.

  5. Transfer dough to a large bowl that has been lightly greased. Cover and place in a warm place and allow to rise and double in size. Punch down the dough and allow to rise again.
  6. Prepare your loaf pans by spraying with cooking spray. Divide your dough in two or three equal parts, depending on the size of pans you have. *If you use loaf pans, you can make 3 loaves. I used one loaf pan and one large round souffle dish. I filled each 1/3 of the way and used extra dough for decorations.
  7. Allow dough to rise again for about another hour in the loaf pans.
  8. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  9. Whisk egg in small bowl. Dip a pastry brush in the egg and brush each loaf to give it a golden color when it bakes.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and place on cooling rack. Wrap loaves in plastic wrap and place in plastic bag to keep fresh, or freeze loaves until ready to us