Author Topic: Babunia's Paska (Western Ukraine)  (Read 4029 times)

Olga Drozd

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Babunia's Paska (Western Ukraine)
« on: April 14, 2010, 03:45:56 PM »
Babunia's Paska - Ukrainian

In Eastern Ukraine paska was cakelike, baked in tall cylinders, sweet, and iced on top.  In Western Ukraine, paska had a more breadlike consistency, was round, not so tall, and decorated with dough forms on top. This recipe is representative of Western Ukraine.  It is a light bread, delicately perfumed by cloves. The best pans for paska are 3 pound coffee cans, 1 pound and 3 pound shortening cans, or even large juice containers. A large, wide metal or ceramic pan may be used for the family paska.

2 1/2 cups very warm water
2 1/2 cups warm milk
3 ounces fresh yeast or 3 envelopes dry yeast
4 Tablespoons sugar

5 pounds (about 18 cups) flour (divided)
1 cup oil
1 cup butter
12 large eggs
1 Tablespoon crushed cloves
1 Tablespoon salt

1 egg beaten in a little water for glaze
Shortening for baking cans and pan
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs for sprinkling cans

Wash and dry 6 shortening or coffee cans of varying heights and widths (4 inches high, 6 inches wide; 6 inches high, 3 inches wide) and a large metal or ceramic pan about 5 inches high and 9 inches wide.  Be sure they fit in the oven without touching the sides or each other; if they do not, bake in two batches.  (All dough may be formed at the same time, with the second batch placed in refrigerator to retard rising.  Mark in advance which cans should be baked second.)  Butter cans very well, especially sides and grooves, and sprinkle with fine dry bread crumbs, shaking out excess.

Combine water, milk, and sugar, and sprinkle with yeast.  Mix in 1 1/2 cups flour.  Allow to rise until double in bulk.
  Beat eggs until foamy.  Put all but 1/2 cup flour in a large wide bowl, pour yeast mixture in center, and add oil, butter, eggs, cloves, and salt.  Mix until no dry flour is left (add a little more flour if mixture is too wet).  Knead 2 to 3 minutes, allow to rest for 10, then knead for 30 minutes or until smooth.

Allow to rise, covered with a damp towel, in an oiled bowl in a draft free place until double in bulk.  Punch down and divide into thirdsSet one third in bowl and cover.  Divide the remaining two-thirds into parts according to the size and number of prepared can's volume.  Fill cans without disturbing bread crumb coating, and allow to rise.  Remove the second batch cans to a cool place for slower rising.  (No door slamming or hard running through the kitchen by children, or the dough may fall).

From the reserved third of dough, pinch off an orange-sized piece (to make the straight-armed cross).  Knead the rest into a smooth ball, flattening the top, and place in large pan.  Divide the small piece in half and form two ropes about the width of the pan.  With a floured rolling pin, roll each rope into a ribbon and cut into each end about 1 inch.  Place one piece across the paska, curling the split ends away from each other.  Cover it with the other at right angles and curl the ends. Allow to rise.

When dough has risen 1 inch over the top, bake pasky in preheated 350 F. oven 45 to 60 minutes or until done, not opening the door for the first 30 minutes.  Brush with glaze after about 40 minutes.  Remove smaller cans first.  Run a knife point around the edge, allow to cool slightly.  Remove breads very gingerly, shaking them out.  Cool on racks on their sides, turning often.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 09:35:07 AM by Olga Drozd »