Saturday, April 5, 2014

Recipe: Make Your Easter Special by Trying My Grandmother's Easter Bread Recipe!


Easter is the time my family always had a special sweet bread to serve with dinner.  My grandmother's recipe for this Easter Paska produces a wonderful raised sweet dough that turns out several delicious loaves of this traditional, egg-rich bread topped with a shiny egg-milk wash glaze. 

When you are making this dough, don't try to add all the flour at once.  Instead, you want to gradually add it because you might need more or less to get this soft, pliable dough.  Rushing the process can leave you with hard dough.

To activate the yeast, you need warm (not hot) water.  The easiest way to tell the right temperature is by testing some of that water on the back of your wrist like you would do for a baby formula. 

My grandmother liked to make round loaves.  Usually, she baked these Easter breads in round casserole dishes and the 3-quart and the smaller round metal mixing bowls.   

I do hope you give this recipe a chance because we always thought it was special.  


Grandmother's Easter Paska

2 cups of warm water  (about 110-degrees)
4-1/2 teaspoons of dry yeast or (2 packages)
3/4 cup of melted shortening or oil
2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup of sugar + 1 teaspoon
6 eggs yolks
1 cup of milk
10-11 cups of sifted flour

Egg Wash Before Baking:

2 egg whites
1 tablespoon of milk

To Prepare the Dough:

Start by dissolving the yeast in 1/2 cup of that warm water along with the one teaspoon of sugar in your measuring cup.  (The sugar will help activate the yeast to bubble up more quickly.)

Add 1-1/2 cups of the warm water, milk, melted shortening or oil, salt, and sugar to your mixing bowl next.

Once the yeast bubbles up after a few minutes, you will also add it to the mixing bowl of ingredients.

Beat the six eggs thoroughly.  Next, add those eggs to the mixing bowl as well.

Add two cups of the flour to your mixing bowl.  Using a long wooden spoon to mix the flour through is easy at this stage.  Gradually, start adding more flour, stirring as you go.  After a few more cups, you will need to use your hands to mix this dough because the spoon will become too difficult to use for continuing to mix it.  Keep adding only enough flour until it is pliable and no longer sticky.

Separate the dough and place in two large, well greased mixing bowls.  Be sure to cover them.

Let the dough rise in a warm spot for about two hours.  Later, punch the dough down.  Now allow the dough to grow another hour.

Shape into several loaves to fit whatever well-greased pans you want to use from bread pans to round casserole dishes to metal mixing bowls.  Cover with a towel.  Let these breads rise for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Brush your loaves with the egg-milk mixture.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes, depending on how your oven is regulated.

ENJOY!

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