A Slovak Easter bread recipe

Published Mar 29, 2021 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Inna Mykhalchuk

Most know Slovak Easter bread as a Christian bread, originally from the Jewish tradition, and it’s incredibly similar to Shallah bread which also comes from a similar background. Also known as paska bread, these round loaves can be large or small, but they are typically hand-decorated with religious symbols to celebrate holidays like birthdays or anniversaries and other important life events.

How to make Paska aka Easter Bread

This bread compliments all traditional Easter meals with a light, crumbly texture that is delicious on its own but also excellent with a light dish of icing sugar, honey, or peanut butter. It takes a lot of rest time like most yeast-based recipes, but with a bit of work and a lot of patience, you can create 3 personalized Easter loaves to suit almost any occasion.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Resting time: 4 hours

Cooking time:  40 minutes

Calories: 146

Servings: 16-20

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 8 ounces butter
  • 4 ounces cannabutter
  • ¾ ounces active dry yeast
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Tools

  • 3 7x3-inch round bread pans
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Stand mixer (with dough attachment)
  • Whisk
  • Cooking thermometer

Instructions

  1. Grease all 3 bread pans with a small amount of regular butter.

  2. Add ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 cups of milk, the salt and both types of butter to a saucepan, slowly warming and whisking the ingredients together over low heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.

  3. Once the granules are gone, remove the mixture from the burner and then leave it to cool to below 110°F.

  4. Pour the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and warm water into a mixing bowl, then stir the ingredients together before leaving them to expand for 5 minutes.

  5. Next, add all of the eggs, the milk combination, and 4 ½ cups of flour to a stand mixer that’s equipped with a dough attachment.

  6. Work the dough using the mixer on speed 2 for 1 minute.

  7. Slowly add ½ cup of the remaining flour at a time to the mixture, working the fresh powder into the dough on speed 2 for 2 minutes between each one until it’s all incorporated in the dough.

  8. Keep mixing the easter bread dough on speed 2 until it is smooth and stretchy.

  9. Transfer the dough into a pre-greased mixing bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a clean towel and leave it to rise for 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

  10. Push your knuckles into the dough repeatedly until it deflates a bit and then divides it into 6 portions. 3 that are each large enough to fill a bread pan and 3 small ones that will be turned into molded designs for the top of the easter bread.

  11. Push the larger balls into the bread pans, and then use the smaller ones to roll, bend and shape into braids or unique designs, and then set them onto the loaves.

  12. Cover the loaves of bread once more with a clean towel or plastic wrap, and then leave them to rise at room temperature for 2 more hours.

  13. Preheat the oven to 350°F and then bake the Easter bread in the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and they reach at least 400°F internally.

Leave your fresh homemade paska to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

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