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Archive for the ‘phenology’ Category

Since we’ll be going to my in-laws for Ukrainian Easter in a couple of weeks time, I was planning for this weeks’ egg recipe to be Paska, the traditional Ukrainian Easter egg bread. t!’s mother gave me the recipe over the phone from her Ukrainian cookbook, and advised that I halve it. And I did… but something didn’t go quite right, and I didn’t get Paska…

Ingredients

  • 1 whole egg and 4 egg yolks, plus another for glazing
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus some extra to grease the pan(s)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 3½ cups flour

The yeast amount is odd because the original recipe calls for a packet of yeast. Since I buy my yeast by the pound, rather than by the packet, I had to look up how much yeast was in a standard-sized packet, and Google told me 2¼ teaspoons. I ended up using two slightly heaped teaspoons.

  1. All ingredients should be at room temperature. My milk wasn’t.
  2. Beat the egg yolks and whole egg
  3. Add milk, sugar, and salt, and mix well
  4. Add butter (melted), oil, yeast, and mix well
  5. Add flour one cup at a time. Batter should be quite thin. Mine wasn’t – I had to knead the last of the flour in.
  6. Let rise until doubled.
  7. Knead. Let rise again.
  8. Fill round greased baking tins 1/3 full. Glaze with beaten egg. Bake at 350°F for one hour.

That’s the theory. In practice, I split the dough in two after the second rise, and kneaded some raisins into one half. That half I then split into three parts and braided. The raisin-free half went into a greased pot, and the braid on a greased baking tray:

After about 25 minutes, the tops were dark brown and threatening to start to burn, so I did a toothpic-test and then took them out of the oven. Both were very tasty, but not Paska. Paska has a crumbly texture, and this had a very smooth texture. t! is calling it Kolache. It reminds me more of a slightly-too-dense Challah. It was very, very yummy – so yummy that I didn’t manage to get a picture before we had eaten half of the round loaf:

Either the milk being cold was a massive error, or (as I suspect) my mother-in-law made an error when reading the recipe to me over the phone, and either left out an ingredient, got one of the amounts wrong, or told me egg yolks when she meant egg whites. Or maybe I was meant to let it rise once more in the pot before baking it, like I would do with regular bread dough? I will do some more research online to try to figure out what I need to change when I try this recipe again.

If anyone has an ethnic egg bread recipe to share, I’d love to hear it!

Oh, and to further celebrate the season, our very first crocus of spring opened today:

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