Paska

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Let this mixture stand for approximately 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine:

  • 7 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups water

Add the yeast mixture to this bowl forming a soft dough. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours; punch down and rise again for another 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Prepare your pans by spraying with a cooking oil such as Pam.  Use only round pans for a paska.

I break off about one cup of dough and form it into a ball.  I place this in the bottom of my pan, spreading it out evenly to the pans edges.

The ornaments on top may be elaborate or simple. If you are new at making a paska, I suggest that you roll out 2 long rolls about 3/4 of an inch thick.  Place these on top of the loaf so the rolls cross one anther evenly. Trim the ends and tuck them under the loaf. You can add other decorations to fill the spaces.

Basic decorations are small and can include spirals, flowers (use a small ball for a centre and place 5 or 6 balls around it for the petals), leaves (pinch flat pieces of dough into leaf shapes) and rosettes (roll a long piece of dough and snip it every 1/2 inch with a knife. Roll this up forming petals that point upward).  Place the decorations on top as soon as they are made so that they will stick to the dough.

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Allow the loaves to rise until nearly doubled.  But not much longer because the ornaments will lose shape.  Brush very carefully with one slightly beaten egg diluted with a tsp. of water.

Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Bake the loaves for approximately 15 minutes; reduce the temperature to 350*F. and bake for an additional 45 minutes or more. If the tops start to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.  Remove from the pans immediately to allow them to cool. (I use a 9 inch round pan and usually it takes about an hour to bake. But baking times do vary with ovens.  Adjust baking times as needed).

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