I am extremely saddened by what is going on in the world at the moment. I am sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. So I though it would be fitting to start off my Easter content with a traditional Ukrainian Easter Bread. Ukrainian Easter bread or Paska (which means Easter) is a slightly sweet bread made with butter, milk and eggs. Similar versions of this bread are made all over Eastern Europe during Easter and they are often decorated with religious symbols. Some contain fruit, others are plain. My version of a Paska Easter Bread includes mandarin zest and juice to give a delicious hint of citrus flavour.
As mentioned, this bread is slightly sweet and the texture can be compared to brioche or even Challah. As it’s made with butter, milk and eggs it is super soft and fluffy. The perfect bread to add to your Easter breakfast or brunch table.
I love making a special bread for Easter. If you do too, have a look at some of the versions I made previously, and lots of other delicious treats, in the Easter section of my recipe menu.
Paska Easter Bread
- 180 ml Milk
- 35 grams Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp Instant dry yeast
- 1 Large Egg
- 60 ml Mandarin juice*
- 1 Tbsp Mandarin Zest (approx. 3 mandarins)*
- 2 Tbsp Castor Sugar
- 3¾ Cups All-Purpose/Cake Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- Add the butter to the milk and warm until the butter starts to melt when stirred (Do not boil). Let the milk cool down slightly until lukewarm then add the yeast and stir through. Let sit for 10 minutes
- Soft the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer
- Next, add the egg, sugar, juice and zest to the milk mixture. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the wet ingredients to the dry
- Mix from the centre outwards until everything is fully incorporated. Then using your hand or the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer, knead the dough a little until it's smooth
- Brush a large bowl with a little oil, place your dough in the bowl and cover, placing the bowl in a warm, draft free, spot. Let rise for around 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size
- Once risen, turn the dough out onto a surface and divide into three equal portions. Using your hands, roll each portion into a long rope. Put the three ends together at one end then plait/braid the three ropes. Tuck the ends under to ensure they don't come undone
- Roll the plait braid/up and place in a greased cake tin. Loosely cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm, draft free, spot for around 1 hour, until the dough has risen to fill the cake tin
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- When the oven is warm and the bread has risen, give it a light egg wash (whisked egg with a dash of water). Then bake for around 30 minutes until golden brown
- Leave to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes, then remove and place on a wire cooling rack to cool further, or serve warm