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Paska Bread

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Ingredients

For the Sponge:

For the Dough:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl until slightly frothy.

  • In the meantime, dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in the warm milk; allow to cool to lukewarm. Once cooled, add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture along with 4 cups of flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Cover and put in a dark, warm place until the mixture is bubbly and doubled in size, about 2 hours.

  • Stir in the beaten eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup butter, salt, and lemon peel. Stir well to blend. Begin adding the remaining flour a cup at a time to form a very soft dough.

  • Knead the dough on a floured board until soft and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.

  • Divide dough into three parts (see Cook’s Note). Shape into slightly rounded loaves, and place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush onto loaves.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Bake in preheated oven until loaves are deep brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Once they are done, brush the tops with melted butter for a soft crust.

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