Sunday, December 2, 2012

Paska: Ukrainian Easter Bread

While Paska (Easter sweet bread) and sirnaya paska (Easter cheese) and Pysanka (decorated Easter eggs) are definitely Ukrainian Easter fare, my family also enjoyed sweet treats at Christmas and New Years. With relatives of Ukrainian/Mennonite/Russian descent, we had it all! :) And don't forget the Piroshky and Portzelky for New Year's! 

Note: Mom and my grandma always baked Paska in clean, wax-paper lined cans of various sizes and shapes, and then frost them when cool with a simple confectioners frosting of icing sugar, butter and a bit of milk or cream. With sprinkles, of course...



  • 3 c milk, scalded
  • 2 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 c butter
  • 2 c raisins (dredged in flour)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 pkg quick rising yeast
  • Rind of 2 oranges
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • enough flour to make a soft dough
Prepare yeast as directed on package. Scald milk, remove from heat and add butter. Whip egg yolks with sugar until light. Beat egg whites until foamy. Then mix flour, milk and butter, sugar, eggs and egg whites into a soft dough. Sprinkle in raisins as you work the dough, kneading on a floured surface until mixed. Let rise for about an hour in a warm place, punch down and let rise again until double in bulk, about half to 3/4 hour. These are  usually baked in a variety of round metal tins such as honey tins or washed and sterilized cans. Grease well (cooking spray works well) and line with waxed paper, spraying again before adding the dough until about 1/2 - 2/3 full. Let rise until light. Bake at 325 F for approximately an hour, until golden and puffed.

Serve with:
Sirnaya Paska (Easter Cheese)
  • 1/2 pound softened butter
  • 2 pounds dry cottage cheese
  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 hard cooked egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Sieve cheese and hard cooked egg yolks. Combine with other ingredients. May be molded and decorated with candied fruit and almonds if desired.

Glums Paska (Mennonite Paska Spread)
  • 1 carton dry cottage cheese
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 3 hard boiled egg yolks
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sweet cream to make of spreading consistency
Press cottage cheese and hard boiled egg yolks through a sieve. Cut room temperature butter into the sugar. Combine all ingredients, adding cream as needed.

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