Ukrainian Easter Paska Recipe

Ukrainian Easter Paska Recipe

The Spruce / Loren Runion

  • Total: 75 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 55 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
189 Calories
11g Fat
16g Carbs
7g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 167mg 56%
Sodium 480mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 7g
Calcium 76mg 6%
*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.)

Ukrainian Easter bread or paska (which means Easter) is a slightly sweet egg bread that can be decorated with religious symbols.

It's taken to church on Easter morning in a special basket with other foods to be blessed. Slovaks also serve paska at Easter but this is not to be confused with the molded Easter cheese dessert of the same name.

Ukrainians also feature another type of sweet bread known as babka for Easter but instead of the fluted shape favored by the Poles, theirs looks more like a Russian kulich which is tall and cylindrical in shape.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (plus 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup water (lukewarm)
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature; beaten)
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • For the Egg Wash:
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ukrainian Easter Paska Recipe ingredients

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, scald the milk and set aside to cool until lukewarm.

    scald the milk

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  3. In a large bowl, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon sugar in water and sprinkle yeast over it. Mix and let stand for 10 minutes.

    yeast in sugar water

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  4. Add the lukewarm scalded milk and 2 1/2 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Cover and let rise until light and bubbly.

    milk, flour, and yeast mixture

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  5. Add eggs, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, melted butter, salt, and 4 1/2 to 5 cups of the remaining flour to make a dough that is not too stiff and not too slack.

    eggs and the remaining ingredients added to the dough in the bowl

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  6. Knead until dough no longer sticks to the hand and is smooth and satiny (about 7 minutes in a stand mixer, longer by hand).

    dough ball in a bowl

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  7. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn to grease both sides, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled.

    dough covered in plastic wrap in a bowl

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  8. Punch down, cover, and let rise again.

    punch dough to deflate, in a bowl

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  9. Reserve one-third of the dough for decorating. Shape the rest into a round loaf and place in a 10- to 12-inch greased round pan.

    dough in a greased round pan

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  10. Shape the reserved dough into decorations of choice—a cross, swirls, rosettes, braiding, etc—and arrange on top of the dough. 

    dough in a round pan, decoration

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  11. Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled.

  12. Heat oven to 400 F. Brush bread with 1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water.

    raw Ukrainian Easter Paska in a pan, egg wash

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  13. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F and bake an additional 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F. If necessary, cover the top of the bread with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.

  14. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    baked Ukrainian Easter Paska on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

Tip

  • Some cooks make a stiffer, non-yeast, sculpting dough for the decorations so the shapes won't distort when baked. You can use the one as described in this Serbian cesnica recipe.