Paska Easter Bread Recipe (Kulich)

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It’s a wonderful Easter tradition shared by Russian and Ukrainian people. This recipe comes from my aunt Tanya and cousin Lena; thank you so much!

Easter only comes once a year so don’t panic when I tell you how long it takes to make this. First I will tell you how soft and delicious it is. Then I’ll explain how you will feel like a domestic diva once you’ve got this under your belt. After that I’ll convince you that this bread makes for an incredible french toast (like really, really good!).

I’ll also mention that the active time for this recipe is about 30-45 minutes and the rest is oven/rising time. Then, and only then will I tell you that it takes basically half the day to rise. I made it a couple weeks early just so I could photograph it and share the recipe with you. I’m going to make it again for Easter. See, that means it was worth it.

Thank You Lena and Aunt Tanya for this wonderful recipe; It’s a keeper for sure. My parents and sister tried it and were raving about it.

Ingredients for the Kulich/Paska:

2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm milk (I used whole milk)
6 eggs, room temp
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, (1/2 lb or 226 grams), melted (if using salted butter, omit the salt)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
9 cups all-purpose Canadian flour, divided **
1 to 1 1/2 cups raisins (white or brown)

**On Flour Substitutions:

Canadian flour is made in Canada has a higher gluten content and produces a softer bread than American all-purpose flour. It is available in Cash and Carry, Winco and Canada of course! Several readers have reported great results with American all-purpose flour but because Canadian flour has a higher gluten content, you often need to use more American all-purpose flour, so keep that in mind if you substitute. Read helpful review below:

One of my readers, Natalia, shared this amazing review with her flour substitutions:

“I want to thank you for this wonderful Paska recipe. My family loved it. I made a half of the recipe, That was enough to make two medium and two small breads. I used the King Arthur’s bread flour (4 cups) and 1/2 cup of a/p flour (I was running short on bread flour). It turned out amazing. I’ve never made Paskas before, and it was a success from the first time. Thank you!!!”

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition. This bread also makes for an incredible french toast.

For the Topping:

2 cups powdered Sugar
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice

What you’ll need:

3 Large Panettone Paper Molds (4.8″H x 6.75″ W); we purchased them on Amazon (you can also buy the mini ones and make baby paskas; I Imagine those would be adorable, but you’d need to adjust the baking times for sure). My husband actually discovered these molds and they were great!

Paska Easter Bread Recipe-2

How to Make Paska Easter Bread Recipe (Kulich):

1. In a large Mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm milk, 6 eggs, 1 Tbsp yeast, 2 cups sugar, 2 sticks melted butter (just warm, not hot!), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 tsp vanilla. Whisk in 4 cups flour. Your batter will be thick like sour cream. Cover and let it rise in a warm place or a warm oven (about 100˚F) for 2 hours.

Note: Do not put the mixture in a hot oven or it will deactivate the yeast and it won’t rise; yep we learned this the hard way and an entire batch ended up in the garbage can. So either put it in a warm 100˚F oven or put it in a warm spot in the sun. 

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.Paska Easter Bread Recipe-5Paska Easter Bread Recipe-6

2. Add 5 more cups of flour; one cup at a time or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands (it will still feel sticky but won’t stick to your fingers). I find it’s easiest to stir in the flour with a stiff silicone spatula. Dough should be soft. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups raisins. Cover and let dough rise another 2 hours in a warm oven (100˚F).

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition. This bread also makes for an incredible french toast.Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition. This bread also makes for an incredible french toast.

3. Divide dough evenly into the three paper baking molds; try not to mix it or stomp it down too much. Let dough rise uncovered in a warm 100˚F oven for an additional 2 hours or until the molds are almost full. Remove from the oven and preheat oven to 350˚F.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition. This bread also makes for an incredible french toast.

4. Bake at 350˚F for 30-35 minutes in the middle of the oven until the top is golden brown. Let cool to room temp or just warm and then tear off the wrapper.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.

5. Once the Breads are at room temperature and wrappers are off, get your frosting ready. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar with 3 Tbsp lemon juice. Add a little water if it’s too thick or a little more powdered sugar if it’s too runny. Pour the glaze over each cooled Easter bread.

Top with sprinkles, which just make these seem so traditional and festive. I remember having lots of sprinkles growing up. I’ll put sprinkles on my next one and post it.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.

Paska Easter Bread Recipe (Kulich)

4.8 from 67 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Traditional Paska Easter Bread Recipe a.k.a. Kulich has been made by our family for generations.
Author:
Skill Level: Medium
Cost To Make: $5-$8
Serving: 3 large paska breads

Ingredients

  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm milk (I used whole milk)
  • 6 eggs, room temp
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, (1/2 lb or 226 gr), melted (if using salted butter, omit salt)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 9 cups all-purpose Canadian flour, divided
  • 1 to 1½ cups raisins (white or brown)

For the Topping:

  • 2 cups powdered Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice

What you'll need:

  • 3 Large Panettone Paper Molds; we purchased them on Amazon

Instructions

  1. In a large Mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm milk, 6 eggs, 1 Tbsp yeast, 2 cups sugar, 2 sticks melted butter (just warm, not hot!), ½ tsp salt, ½ cup sour cream and 1 tsp vanilla. Whisk in 4 cups flour. Your batter will be thick like sour cream. Cover and let it rise in a warm place or a warm oven
  2. (about 100˚F) for 2 hours.
  3. Add 5 more cups of flour; one cup at a time or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands (it will still feel sticky but wont' stick to your fingers). I find it's easiest to fold flour in with a silicone spatula. Dough should be soft. Stir in 1 to 1½ cups raisins. Cover and let dough rise another 2 hours in a warm oven (100˚F).
  4. Divide dough evenly into the three paper baking molds; try not to mix it or stomp it down too much. Let dough rise uncovered in a warm 100˚F oven for an additional 2 hours or until the molds are almost full. Remove from the oven and preheat oven to 350˚F.
  5. Bake at 350˚F for 30-35 minutes in the middle of the oven until the top is golden brown. Let cool to room temp or just warm and then tear off the wrapper.
  6. Once the Breads are at room temperature and wrappers are off, get your frosting ready. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar with 3 Tbsp lemon juice. Add a little water if it's too thick or a little more powdered sugar if it's too runny. Pour the glaze over each cooled Easter bread. Traditionally, these are topped with colorful sprinkles before the glaze sets.

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Luda
    April 14, 2017

    Hi Natasha! Thank you so much for such a great and easy recipe!!! My Paskas are in the oven now and look great!!:) can’t wait to try them!! I had a question, after you put the glaze on and sprinkles, can you wrap it in plastic wrap? Or is it ok to put the glaze on the next day? I want to make sure they stay fresh and soft for Easter. Thank you:) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 15, 2017

      Hi Luda, I like to put the glaze on and sprinkles the same day it is made but you can do it either way if you keep the bread wrapped in plastic wrap. If you do glaze first, make sure the bread is fully at room temperature and the glaze sets completely before covering in plastic wrap and leave the breads at room temperature overnight. Reply

  • Tecla
    April 14, 2017

    I use 46oz juice cans, but can’t wait to try your recipe version. I’ll just have to make sure it doesn’t overcook. We like the tall skinny shaped loaf because it is easy to slice! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 15, 2017

      Please let me know what you think of the recipe if you decide to make it! Reply

  • Elena
    April 13, 2017

    How many grams of dry yeast in 1 tbsp? I used 1 packet and it was equal 1 tbsp, however on the back of the packet it said that one packet =2 x 1/2 tsp. Very confusing …. so I ended up with about 14 grams (almost 2 packets of dry yeast) and it kulich did not taste really good… Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 14, 2017

      Hi Elena, 2 packets is too much for this recipe – since yeast comes in different packaging – some in packets and some in bags, it’s easiest to just put in the measurement in measuring spoons. A Tbsp of yeast is about 8.5 grams. The packets of yeast that you have are 7 grams each. Reply

  • Laura Pankratz
    April 13, 2017

    You don’t specify what kind of yeast to use…….is it traditional, quick rise or rapid rise ?? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 13, 2017

      Laura, it’s traditional active dry yeast Red Star brand. Reply

  • Lilya
    April 13, 2017

    Hello Natasha, what would be an ok substitute for the panettone mold? Can’t get one fast enough for Easter but want to make paska! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 13, 2017

      Hi Lilya, if it helps, they do sell them in stores like Williams Sonoma :). I have had one of my readers report great results baking these in 4 loaf pans. The bake time might be slightly less since you’re dividing into 4. Some of my readers have reported baking them in metal coffee cans (definitely line with parchment in that case), Also, one of my readers Elli, wrote that they used a nine inch cake pan, and 12 cup bundt pan stating “I did grease them very well! I think it was exactly 35 min for both, though my circled “paska” came out a little darker than my perfectly golden “bundt” paska, but thats ok because i just covered it up with the glaze and way too many sprinkles lol” I hope that helps! Reply

      • Anita
        April 15, 2017

        My grandma uses an old Russian recipe, and we use all kinds of canned food bottles. We also make a different frosting. When it dries, (it dries very quickly, about 5-10 min) it’s very sugary. It is crunchy, because you don’t incorporate the sugar completely. It really complements the paska. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          April 15, 2017

          I agree and thank you for sharing that with us! 🙂 Reply

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