What is Paska?
One of Ukrainian traditions is the blessing of an Easter Basket with goodies. The basket is taken to Church on Holy Saturday where it is blessed with prayers and sprinkling of holy water by the priest. This blessed food may not be consumed until after the morning Resurrection Liturgy on Easter Sunday.
Paska – Special Easter Bread (sweet yeast bread, rich in eggs, butter, etc.), takes the center stage in the basket. Symbolic of Christ, who is the True Bread to Christians. Paska bread is always round, and decorated with a dough braid around the perimeter, and an ornamental cross in the middle. The Cross reminds Christians that Christ died on the Cross for their salvation.
Usually this bread is made with fresh yeast or instant yeast. I decide to try it with my favorite sourdough. Only thing if you are planning to make paska with sourdough is it requires two days of work whereas with yeast you can bake it in a day. But I love the flavor of sourdough.
I always admire Ukrainian breads as they are the real artwork. You can only see bread art in that part of world.
Paska is an egg-rich bread which is round topped with decorations includes ropes, twists, rosettes and crosses and each symbolize something different for the coming year. The ones I used were the twist around the outside symbolizing eternity, the four-sided cross originally meaning the four corners of the earth but now taken to represent the Christian cross, a sort-of sun motif without enough arms, and the flower or rosette symbolizing fertility for a good harvest. I made Easter doves (Holuby) too. These bread “doves” symbolize spring and are made for Easter.
These bread doves are used to decorate Ukrainian wedding bread called Korovai, a traditional bread used at weddings and anniversaries that symbolizes family and community. The Korovai is decorated with these ornamental baked doves: two birds represent the couple, and other dove ornaments represent family and friends. Closed wing represents the female whereas the spread wings represents males.
How I made Sourdough Ukrainian Paska and Easter Doves.
Once you have an active starter in hand, make the dough first using egg, butter and orange zest and vanilla extract. You need to do the bulk fermentation on the first day. And do the proofing in refrigerator overnight. I didn’t add any raisins to the bread as there is no takers in my house for raisins. If you want, you can add that.
Next day divide the dough in the 3 pieces, one for the base of Paska and other for the rope. And then rest for twists, crosses and east doves. Cold dough makes it easy to make shapes compared to same day dough.
You need to brush with egg white on the top of round Paska, then place the twists and other decorations. Finally, when you are ready to bake, brush them with egg yolk which gives unique dark color of baked paska.
I used cloves for the Easter doves eyes you can use black raisins if you want. I baked this bread as a part of Breadbakers group.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla has selected Easter breads from around the world as our theme.
She wrote: “We’re posting after the actual holiday. I know. However, as everyone is home, sheltered-in-place to help flatten the curve, maybe people are delaying Easter celebrations with friends and family. I know I am!”
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Choereg (Armenian Easter Bread) by Making Miracles
- Easy Glazed Baked Donuts by Shockingly Delicious
- Folar da Páscoa, a Less-Than-Traditional Version by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- German Osterbrot Easter Bread by Ambrosia
- Hot Cross Buns by Sneha’s Recipe
- Polish Babka by A Messy Kitchen
- Kalach (Hungarian Easter Bread) by Passion Kneaded
- Kozunak (Bulgarian Easter Bread) by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Russian Kulich – Easter Bread by Food Lust People Love
- Sourdough Hot Cross Buns by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Sourdough Ukrainian Paska by Zesty South Indian Kitchen
Ukrainian Sourdough PaskaPaska is an egg-rich bread which is round topped with decorations includes ropes, twists,rosettes and crosses made with sourdough.Servings: 12 servingsCalories: 234kcal
- For making leaven
- 60 g bread flour
- 60 g whole wheat flour
- 30 g active sourdough starter
- 5 g rye flour
- 125 g water
- 3 ¾ cup / 450 g unbleached all-purpose flour
- 110 g leaven
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup/ 50g sugar
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp/ 56.7 g butter
- 3 tbsp oil
- Zest of lemon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of orange
- First Prepare Leaven
- Mix all the ingredients ( bread flour,whole wheat flour, rye flour, and water) mix with active starter and set for about 6 hours.
- Bread dough
- When leaven is ready mix with milk, melted butter, oil, lemon and orange zest, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar and salt. Then finally add flour and combine everything well. Transfer to greased pan.
- Do folds every 30 minutes for first 2 hours and set aside for 5-6 hours or until doubles in volume. Set aside refrigerator for cold ferment for 12 hours.
- When you ready to bake remove the dough from refrigerator. Divide the dough into 3 pieces one large, 330g 180g and 75g . Spread large piece into round and place it in 8-inch round pan.
- Divide the second 180g Piece into two and roll it into a long 25-inch rope. Twist the two rope to give twisted structure. Brush egg white on the top of the round piece and place the rope on the top along the side.
- With 3rd piece make rosettes, cross, flower and doves. Decorate the bread dough and set aside for 45 minutes to proof a little. Pre-heat oven to 375F bake it for 25-30 minutes or until it becomes golden brown color for bread and 10-15 min for doves.
NutritionCalories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 69mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.