Пасха (Easter)

Yesterday I saw many people preparing for today’s Пасха (Easter) feast.  Sunday April,15th on the Eastern Orthodox calender is a very big religious holiday. I noticed many beautifully colored eggs  and wonderful pastries like the кулич (Kulich) in this photo being sold. There was a fervor at the market for all the food being sold. People were rushing to buy what was left because I assume everything will be closed  on Sunday.

Here is the recipe from About.com for the bread кулич(Kulich):

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 1 large Russian Kulich

Ingredients:

  • Dough:
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk, cooled to 110 degrees
  • 1 cup + 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 large egg yolks (reserve 2 egg whites)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied orange rind
  • .
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-3 teaspoons warm water

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, 1/4 cup sugar and milk, mixing until yeast and sugar have dissolved. Stir in 1 cup flour until well blended. Cover and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, 1/2 cup sugar and egg yolks.  Add yeast-flour mixture from Step 1, stirring well. Add vanilla, cardamom, salt and enough of the 3 to 3 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough. Stir in raisins, almonds and orange rind.
  3. In a small bowl, beat 2 reserved egg whites until stiff. Fold them into the dough made in Step 2. Knead by machine or hand until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 3-5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning once to coat both sides. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
  4. Coat a 2-pound coffee can or kulich pan with cooking spray. Punch down dough and knead a few times. Place it in the prpeared can, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until dough reaches the top of the can.
  5. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 35 to 40 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  6. While kulich is baking, prepare glaze by combining in a small bowl the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, almond extract and enough water to make a smooth, runny glaze.
  7. Remove kulich from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Unmold from can and cool on a wire rack. While still slightly warm, drizzle glaze over the top. To serve, cut off the crown and slice base into rounds. To keep any leftovers moist, replace the crown.
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