Posts Tagged ‘Easter Recipes’

Bake Paska- Ukrainian Easter Bread

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Ukranian Easter Bread

Paska is a very popular, slightly sweet egg bread, consumed throughout Eastern Europe in countries such as Ukraine, Russia, and Poland as part of Easter celebrations. Each country’s recipe differs slightly from the recipes used in other countries, but the symbolism associated with the bread tends to remain the same.

Not only is Paska baked throughout Eastern Europe, but those who enjoy it also decorate the top by arranging pieces of dough into designs prior to baking. Detail ranges from braiding, rosettes, and crosses, to more ornate styles. Try out our recipe for Ukranian Paska, and have fun decorating the top however you like!

Braided Paska

Paska Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar plus 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Lukewarm Water
  • 1 Package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Cups milk
  • 2 1/2 Cups plus 5 cups all purpose-flour
  • 3 Large eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 Cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

  • Scald the milk and set aside so that it can cool to a lukewarm temperature. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon sugar in water and sprinkle yeast over it. Mix and let stand 10 minutes.
  • Combine the yeast mixture with scalded milk and 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Cover and let rise until light and bubbly
  • Add eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour to make a dough that is not too stiff nor too slack. Knead until dough no longer sticks to the hand and is smooth and satiny (approximately seven minutes in a mixer, but longer if done by hand). Place in a greased mixing bowl, turn to grease both sides. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again.
  • Reserve 1/3 of the dough for decorating. Shape the rest into a round loaf and place in a 10- to 12-inch greased round pan. Now shape the reserved dough into decorations of choice (swirls, rosettes, braiding, etc.). Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled.
  • Heat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Brush bread with 1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of water. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F. and bake an additional 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190° F. If necessary, cover the top of the bread with aluminum foil to prevent the bread from over browning. Remove from oven and turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Bake Hot Cross Buns this Easter!

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Hot Cross Buns have traditionally been eaten at Easter by Anglo Saxons for hundreds of years. Although the first recorded use of the term “Hot Cross Buns” dates back to 1733, many believe that the buns actually pre-date Christianity.

The Saxons, Eostre and Hot Cross Buns

While Easter is synonymous with the coming of Spring, baby animals, and (everyone’s favorite) egg hunts, Easter actually gets its name and from the German Goddess Eostre. Historians believe that Eostre was the German goddess of the dawn, and in some cases, was considered a “Spring-like fertility goddess.” Traditionally, Germans would celebrate Eostre by feasting throughout the month we now know as April. It is believed that Saxons ate Hot Cross Buns during these feasts, which were meant to symbolize the four quarters of the moon.

Eventually, the buns became highly popular throughout England, specifically during the Easter season. Protestant monarchs attempted to ban them due to an alleged tie to the Catholic church, but were unsuccessful due to their incredible popularity.

Superstitions Surrounding Hot Cross Buns

There are many superstitions that surround Hot Cross Buns. An English superstition states that buns that are baked and served on Good Friday won’t spoil or become moldy during the coming year, while another states that giving a bun to someone who is sick will help them to get better.

Legend also has it that by sharing a hot cross bun, two friends will be ensured friendship in the coming year as long as they say “Half for you, half for me, between us two shall goodwill be” while consuming the bun. Ships that carry Hot Cross Buns are supposed to ensure safety against shipwreck when carried on a boat, and kitchens that have a Hot Cross Bun hanging within them are supposedly protected against fires and ensured a perfect result when breads are baked (the hanging bun is supposed to be replaced annually).

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Bun Ingredients:

  • 2 Tsp. Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup 2% Milk (110-115º Fahrenheit)
  • 1 Tbsp Softened Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 Tsp. Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Raisins
  • 2 Tbsp. Dried Currants
  • 1/4 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • A dash of ground Allspice
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. Water

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1/8 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Tsp. 2% Milk

Directions:

  • In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Stir in softened butter, egg, sugar and salt. Combine 3/4 cup of flour, currants, raisins, allspice and cinnamon; add to the yeast mixture and mix well. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about four to six minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once in order to grease the top. Cover and let dough rise in a warm space until doubled– about one hour.
  • Punch dough down; shape into six two inch balls. Place balls two inches apart on a baking sheet coasted with nonstick cooking spray. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross on top of each bun. Cover and allow to rise until doubled– about 30 minutes.
  • Beat egg yolk and water; brush over buns. Bake buns at 375° Fahrenheit for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Combine icing ingredients and pipe over buns.


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