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12 April 2015

Easter bread - original Ukrainian recipe

When you say here is Germany that you celebrate Easter differently and a week later (as it is this year) people do not stop asking questions. Therefore I would like to present today our traditional Easter food. For all who have questions and just those curious ones. This is the bread you will definitely see on the table of each Ukrainian family these days. Until it disappears, as it usually happens.


500-600 g white flour
 4 eggs
1 cup sugar
125 g butter
250 ml milk
35 g fresh yeast
30 g raisins
30 g candied orange zest
sprinkle of salt
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
200 g sugar powder
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the dough heat milk until 36°C. Into a deep bowl with warm milk add 35 g of fresh yeast. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and portion by portion 2 cups of flour. Mix well and set aside in warm place for 30 minutes. Meanwhile melt butter. In a bowl using electric mixer mix 1/2 cup of sugar, salt and 4 yolks. 2 egg whites put into fridge (they will be used in the end for white glaze) and other two mix until not very thick foam. Into yolk-sugar mixture add vanilla sugar.

After 30 minutes of waiting time until yeast mixture is ready to be added into dough, pour yolk-sugar mixture into it and fold with silicon spoon carefully not to ruin the bubble structure. Portion by portion add 2 cups of flour and fluffy egg whites. Pour melted butter and add rest of flour. Mix well. Knead the dough in a bowl for about 5-10 minutes until it is elastic and not sticky anymore. Sprinkle with flour and set aside covered for an hour.

The process of preparing good dough is very careful, time-consuming and calm. They say, the more Easter breads you taste during these holy days, the more wishes of yours will come true. It is a big tradition and a good sign when a woman bakes Easter bread. So a lot of women try to add something special in the recipe and make their Easter bread better than others'.

In an hour the dough is ready to be kneaded for the last time. Oil the surface a little bit so that the dough does not stick to your hands or surface. Knead for about 10 minutes. Add raisins and orange zest. Form a ball and put it into the oiled form so that 1/3 of the form is left free as the bread will rise. 30 minutes should pass until the bread is finally put into oven. It should be baked at 180°C for about 40 minutes. To check the readiness put a wooden thin stick inside the bread and make sure it is dry.

While the bread is in the oven we can make glaze. We beat cold egg whites with a sprinkle of salt adding sugar powder until the mixture gets thick.

When the bread is ready, it should be taken out of the form and set aside to cool down for about 15 minutes. After that the glaze can be spread over it. For decorations use your fantasy. However, traditionally it is decorated with two letters: XB - short abbreviation from "Christ is risen" in Ukrainian. I used little sugar hearts and some almond leaves.

Now you can feel yourself a little bit Ukrainian. Some colored eggs and spring sun...
All in all: Happy Easter!

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