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Easter Baking

Easter is fast approaching so I did a bit of baking today.

Dough Birds

I have a few followers who, like myself, enjoy twisting and braiding bread for special occasions.  I have been asked to demonstrate how I make bread dough doves. I use a Kolach dough.  It’s a bit firmer than regular bread dough and is easier to roll out and twist around the fingers.

To begin, break off a small piece of dough and roll evenly to approximately 12 inches in length.  I keep it fairly thin (about the diameter of a pencil).

Divide these rolls into smaller segments, about 3 – 4 inches. 

Take one end and cross it over as shown. 

Insert one end gently through the center and this becomes the bird’s head.  Squeeze the tip to form a beak.

I then flatter out the tail and put 2 – 3 slits in it to resemble the tail feathers.

Bake at 350F. for 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them.  As soon as the beaks start to darken and turn golden brown, take them out of the even.  I use egg wash to add poppy seed eyes.

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Spring Time Recipes!

With Summer just days away, check out some of the new Ukrainian recipes in my Pages section of this blog.  The rhubarb is ready and the beets are growing and producing fresh green leaves just in time for making the Beet Leaf Rolls.  I hope you enjoy eating them as much as I enjoy making them for My Man!

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Ukrainian Easter

Easter commemorates the resurrection of Christ.

Easter matins begins with the ringing of the church bells on Saturday at midnight. The resurrection church service begins with a procession around the outside of the church. The church lights are dimmed, symbolizing the closed tomb of Christ. The priest leads the procession and circles the church three times. This is also symbolic of the journey that the myrrh-bearing women took during the early hours on Easter Sunday morning. When the women recognize the Saviour, the church bells began to ring.

The priest will greet the worshippers with the traditional words “Xристос Воскрес” (Christ is Risen) and they will respond with “Воістину Воскрес” (He is indeed Risen). The church doors are open and the Easter service will proceed.  Most churches today do not have the service on the Saturday night.

At my church, Easter Sunday service is preceded by the blessing of the Easter basket. The Easter basket contains specially prepared foods that include hard-boiled eggs, meat products such as ham and garlic sausage, butter, cheese (cottage cheese, cheddar, etc.), fresh horseradish, a shaker of salt, traditional breads that include paska and baba, as well as the beautifully decorated pysanky. It is a custom to exchange the colourful eggs with the Easter greeting.

Triangles on eggs symbolize trios such as air, fire and wind, and most recently the Holy Trinity.

Triangles on eggs symbolize trios such as air, fire and wind, and most recently the Holy Trinity.

Bread to Ukrainians is one of the holiest of all foods. Two types traditionally found in the Easter basket are paska and baba.  Paska is a large, round loaf made of white flour, usually decorated with a cross at the centre along with other ornamentation such as rosettes or pine cones. At the time of the blessing, a candle is placed in the centre of the paska representing Christ, “the light of the world.” Paska means passover, as in Christ’s passing over from death to life.

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The baba is cylindrical in shape and is a rich cake bread. Its name is considered by some to mean “blessed mother”. Both breads are meant to remind Ukrainians of the true “living bread” that nourishes the soul.

Immediately after the church service, the worshippers will return home to share the Easter breakfast of blessed food.

Христос Воскрес!

 

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Ukrainian Wedding Korovai

This past Summer, I was asked to make a Ukrainian Wedding Korovai for a young couple. It was a pleasure for me to assist this young couple in carrying on with a very traditional custom.

I like to meet the young engaged couple before I agree to bake and decorate a Korovai for them.  If distance is a concern, I want to at least have a chat with them on the telephone or by Skype to find out as much as possible about their interests, likes and dislikes. This chance to talk gives me an opportunity to get a sense of how I’ll create the Korovai. Each bread is uniquely custom-made and decorated to reflect the hopes and future dreams of the couple.

I have created a page dedicated to the creation of this Ukrainian Wedding Bread. Please check it out.

If you are interested in purchasing a custom-made Ukrainian Wedding Korovai, please contact me at Petroshasblog@gmail.com.

The sooner an order is placed the better. A 7-day Canada Post shipping and handling fee is reasonable, $25 approximately. However a 2-day becomes expensive, $48.00 approx. Pick-up orders in Vancouver, B.C. are free.  Sorry, Canada shipping only.

It would be my pleasure to create a Korovai especially for you.

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