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Paska – The Best Sweet Easter Bread My Grandma Made


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  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x

Description

Paska is the best Easter bread! This dense bread has a sweet flavor perfect for Easter brunch, French toast, or even a sandwich. No holiday would be the same in my house without this Slovak eastern European tradition just like my grandma used to make. Bake it for Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving or just because you can’t get enough.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Yeast Mixture

4 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

1/2 tsp Sugar

1/2 cup Warm Water (not hot)

Milk Mixture 

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter

1 1/2 cup Whole Milk or Half and Half (room temperature)

3/4 cup Sugar

2 tsp Salt

Dough

6 cup All Purpose Flour (divided)

2 Eggs

Rise

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Egg Wash

1 Egg Beaten


Instructions

Yeast Mixture

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Make sure to use warm water not hot because you do not want to kill the yeast.
  2. Let this sit for about 10 minutes while you prepare the milk mixture.
  3. It will be very foamy when it is ready to use.

Milk Mixture

  1. On the stove top in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat.
  2. Slowly whisk in room temperature milk with the melted butter. It is important that the milk is not too cold so it does not curdle in the pan.
  3. Once the butter and milk are combined, reduce heat to low and whisk in the sugar and salt. You want to keep this warm (not hot) and maintain a low heat but do not allow this to boil.

Dough

  1. Add half of the flour to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add the eggs, the milk mixture, and the yeast mixture and mix on low speed with a dough hook until all the ingredients are combined.
  3. Add the remaining flour and mix on low speed occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  4. The dough is ready to rise when it is no longer clumpy or sticky and bounces back when poking it.
  5. Ball up the dough and coat with olive oil.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rise for 2 hours. The dough should double in size.
  7. After 2 hours, punch the dough down and let it rise for a second time for 1 hour.
  8. After 1 hour, punch the dough down again and let it rise for a third time for 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 for large and medium size loafs and 325 for minis.
  10. Divide dough into balls and place in greased baking dishes.
  11. Beat one egg and brush onto the tops of each dough ball.
  12. Bake for 45-50 minutes for large and medium size loafs and 20-25 minutes for minis. When the bread is done it will be golden brown in color and a tooth pick will come out clean.
  13. Store Paska at room temperature in a Ziplock bag or covered in plastic wrap for up to a week or freeze. See below for freezing instructions.

Notes

For best results watch baking time closely. You can always add more time but you cannot take it away. Baking times will vary depending on the size of your dough balls.

  • Prep Time: 30
  • Rise Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Slovak, Ukrainian, Eastern European