Paska is a kind of traditional Ukrainian food baked for Easter. Actually, this is a kind of sweet bread with raisins or some other dried fruits.
I like this recipe since my childhood, my mom bakes such a paska. If you follow the recipe, you will get three middle-sized paskas.
1 kg flour
1.5 glass milk
300 g butter or margarine (may be substituted with thick sour cream)
2 glasses sugar
50 g yeast
2/3 tea spoon salt
1 glass of raisins
1 tea spoon vanilla sugar
handful of nuts (as you like)
Dissolve salt and yeast in warm milk. Add 500 g of bolted flour. You would rather bolt flour for it to be fluffy, then paska will come up better. Stir the solution in such a way that there are no dough balls, take it to a warm place and cover with a towel.
When the solution comes up twice as much, add egg yolks mixed with a half of sugar (1 glass.) and vanilla sugar and stir till the mass becomes indiscrete. You can add lemon and/or orange peel. Add melted butter to the dough and stir. After that, add egg whites whisked with the other half (1 glass) of sugar and 500 g of flour. Stir everything thoroughly.
When the dough sticks to hands, add some more flour, until it stops sticking to the fingers and the dish. But try not to overdo for dough not to become too hard. Stir well and take to a warm place to come up. When the paska dough comes up twice as much, add raisins and knead thoroughly. At this point you can add fried and minced nuts (peanuts, walnuts or any other) but it is not a must.
Then take forms or baking paska. Spread a baking paper circle at the bottom of the form, smear sides with grease, and scatter with flour. Fill the forms with dough by one third and take to a warm place to come up. It is recommended to push raisins into dough for it not to get burnt during baking. When the dough comes up to 3/4 of the form, take it to the 180-190⁰c hot oven. You shall do this very carefully in order not to shake, since air will come put and paska won’t come up any more.
Bake the paskas until ready. Big paskas need more time to get baked and the small ones are ready fasterer. You can check the paskas for readiness with the help of a wooden stick. If after piercing the paska the stick remains dry, the paska is ready. If the paska is slightly burnt on the top but not ready inside, you need to cover it from the top with parchment paper and leave to bake until ready.
Remove paskas from the oven, leave to cool a bit, but not completely. Gently remove the still warm paskas from the mold but avoid damaging it.
You can decorate paskas with frothed egg white with sugar. For this purpose whisk two egg whites with 100 g sugar or powdered sugar. If desired, add a little zest and lemon juice. Cover the paskas with this cream and place them into the oven at the minimum temperature to let it dry a bit but don’t let it become brownish.
Also, you can decorate paska with different patterns from the dough. In this case, you should put the pattern on the paska before baking close to the center and to grease it with yolk. And this paska is decorated with fondant (I’ve made it from marshmallows).
Good luck! 🙂