Slovak Easter Paska Bread

Charles slovak easter bread recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 100 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 3 loaves (30 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
146 Calories
12g Fat
7g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 loaves (30 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 146
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 86mg 29%
Sodium 234mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Protein 3g
Calcium 38mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Slovak Easter bread or paska (PAH-skah) is made into round loaves decorated with religious symbols made of dough.

The dough used in this recipe also can be used to make paska peeps—small, chick-shaped dinner rolls.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 ounces butter (3 sticks) 
  • 3 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (no hotter than 110 F)
  • 3 large eggs (room-temperature)
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 1 cup milk (or 1 beaten egg yolk, to wash the dough)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Charlottes slovak Easter bread
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. Grease three (7x3-inch) round bread pans and set aside.

    Butter pan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and butter over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm (no hotter than 110 F) and set aside.

    Heat milk, sugar, salt
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water placed in a mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl that has been warmed. Let proof for 5 minutes.

    Dissolve yeast
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  5. Add eggs, reserved milk mixture, and 4 1/2 cups of the flour. With the dough hook attachment, mix on speed 2 for 1 minute.

    Add eggs
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Continue mixing on speed 2, and add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix about 2 minutes or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of the bowl.

    Continue mixing
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  7. Continue mixing 2 minutes longer or until dough is smooth and elastic. It will be sticky to the touch.

    Continue mixing
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  8. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 to 2 hours or until doubled.

    Place dough in bowl
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  9. Punch down dough and divide into thirds, reserving a small piece of dough from each to make decorations.

    Punch down dough
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  10. Shape each third piece of dough into a round loaf in the prepared pans. Using reserved dough, decorate with a cross in center or braids around the edge.

    Shape
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  11. Cover and let rise in warm place 1 to 2 hours or until doubled.

    Braid dough
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  12. Heat oven to 350 F.

  13. Gently brush tops of risen dough with milk or beaten egg yolk.

    Brush dough
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  14. Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F.

    Bake
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  15. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire rack.

    Remove from pan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  16. Serve during your Easter dinner and enjoy!

    Slice
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

To Make Paska Peeps

An alternate way of using this dough is to form it into little bird-shaped rolls known as Peeps. Follow the recipe above up to the first rising.

  • After dough has risen the first time, portion out 1/8 cup dough for each peep. Let rest, covered, a few minutes.

  • Roll each portion into a 10-inch rope. Form a knot with a short end sticking out for the head and the long end of the tail. Position the knot so that it looks like wings sticking up and the head is in an upright position.

  • Tweak the head to shape a beak and embed cloves (cut off the stem end) or 1/6 of a raisin for the eyes. Place on greased cookie sheet. Flatten long end a bit and make 3 to 4 slashes on it, being careful NOT to cut completely through the dough, to give the appearance of tail feathers.

  • Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. Brush with milk or egg yolk and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.