Paska Easter Bread Recipe (Kulich)
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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 ** (measured correctly)
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!!!”
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!
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 bowl with plastic wrap 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.
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).
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.
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.
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 Easter Bread Recipe (Kulich)
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm milk, I used whole milk
- 6 large 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)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 9 cups all-purpose Canadian flour, divided
- 1 to 1 1/2 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
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 bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place or a warm oven (about 100˚F) for 2 hours.
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 1 1/2 cups raisins. Cover and let dough rise another 2 hours in a warm oven (100˚F).
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.
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.
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.
Can this be baked in any other type of pan or form? I don’t have the paper forms and would like to try a different shape if possible. thanks!
Hi Janet. Some of my readers have used cake/loaf pans to bake this.
I read the reviews and note you had a question concerning using whole eggs but in your photo it appears that the yolks are separated and the whites are stiffly beaten. Which is best
Hi Judy, the eggs are whole eggs and are not separated. There wasn’t a good way for me to photograph adding an egg besides having it in it’s have shell that way. It does look a little like it’s just yolks but the whole eggs went it. The recipe is correct as written.
The ingredients that my mother and grandmother used for Kulitch included Saffron. I would like to use it because it provides a distinctive flavor. However, I’m a bad cook and don’t know how or how much threads of saffron should be used. Can you help?
Hi Boris, one of my readers mentioned the following “I add a teaspoon of saffron threads to the milk as I warm it” I hope that helps.
Since I’m in Texas how do I get Canadian flour? Is it just a brand name or is there something splecial about that brand of flour. Can I use AP flour or bread flour?
Hi Dahila! You’ll have to shop around for it in your local grocery stores. You may even try Amazon.
So yummy! I halved the recipe and yielded 2 loaves just under 2 lbs each. I used 6 egg yolks instead of the 3 whole eggs as that is how my grandmother made hers. I had to add 5/8 cup of flour as it was a little wet, but it is winter so that is common with bread dough. My oven’s warm setting is 145 degrees, so I used that for the first hour, then just the oven light on for the second hour of each rise. A baking time of 30 minutes was perfect in my oven.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Michele!
Hi Natasha . I am planning on making Паску this year for Orthodox Easter . I was wondering what brand of Canadian flour do you use ? I found brand Five Roses and I am wondering if it is any good .Or maybe I am better of using King Arthur bread flour ( something I am familiar with)Thank you in advance
Since it’s rather hard to find in some stores, I would say any brand should be good if it says Canadian Flour – the gluten count is higher.
I live in Canada, I use either Five Roses or Robin Hood when I bake.
Can you just put in regular bread pans? If so how many would it make? Thanks
Hi Dani, I have not tested that to advise how many it would make. If you do an experiment, we’d love to know how it turns out!
I use Bob’s Red Mill bread flour, it’s 12 to 14% protein. This flour is available on the West Coast, I don’t know where else.
Can I make the dough a day ahead and refrigerate it to bake in the morning? Will it turn out the same?
Hi Inna, One of my readers, Diane, gave the following make-ahead suggestion: “I always bake ahead and freeze it, removing it from the freezer to defrost. I usually pop it into the oven to warm it for Easter breakfast. The recipe I use does not have the glaze, but I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze it un-glazed and glaze when you’re ready.” I hope this is helpful.
Natasha!!!! I just can not and not only myself, everyone whomever I gave my pastries away to, just speechless!!!! It is obsoletely delicious, easy!!!! Second year in a row I’m making this dough. For Easter I make one and a half of your recipe, because not only I make kulich I make other pastries with different stuffing. Today was Roditelskaya and I made this dough just the way it’s shown and I just made some rolls some pirogi, some vatrujki and I just had to mention it again, it is obsoletely mind blowing delicious!!!!! It is also fluffy I don’t know I just can’t even describe. It reminds of my grandma cooking and my childhood. Thank you so much!!!!! You guys if you reading and thinking about it- don’t think about it , just make it, very simple just follow the steps and you will receive a masterpiece!!!! Thank you so much again!!! ❤️
Thank you for the awesome feedback, Inna. I’m so happy that you and everyone who has tried this loved it!
I have used this recipe over and over, it is simply the best. Bakers unable to find the Canadian flour may find that King Arthur bread flour does a great job. My kulich loaves came out nice and moist and grew especially tall this year. I also baked one of the loaves in a round pyrex bowl and it produced a lovely bread that everyone raved over!
Great to hear that, Diane. Thanks a lot for the good comments and feedback!
Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry one?
Hi Victoria, I use active dry yeast (not instant yeast). I haven’t tested this recipe with instant yeast and maybe you don’t need as much rising time with the instant. Without testing it, I can really only recommend the regular yeast.
First time Making them myself and this recipe was so easy and turned out great! Thank you Natasha!
Great job on the wonderful result!
This recipe produced a brilliant version of what is, in my family’s neck of the woods, called Babka. We are from Carpathians. To us, paska is more savory but a bit sweet, like jewish Challah, but made in a round circle with crosses, doves, leaves and other Easter things decorating the top. In the region where my Mother is from, near Romania, it is customary to stuff paska with a savory tvorog (like ricotta) and dill filling. However, my Mother said that your recipe makes a perfect Babka! At least the dialect that we know!
Hi Jane, that is great, thank you for sharing. I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe.
My husband is a Ukrainian immigrant and we’ve always had kulichki made by his family for Easter. I was never a fan because it was so dry and horribly sweet.
This year I decided to make this recipe (today) for my husband, thinking I wouldn’t like it. This is a GAME CHANGER. I’m in love with this bread!
Thank you so much for sharing, explaining the flour, and making this experience so amazing!
You’re so very welcome! Thank you for sharing with us.
This will be my 3rd Easter I will be baking Paskas with your recipe! So easy to cook and great outcome. Thank you!
Wonderful to hear! Thank you, Sophie. 🙂
I made the Paska. It turned out so buttery and delicious. Thank you so much for your awesome Kulich/Easter Paska recipe!
You’re very welcome! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe.
It’s interesting that you don’t add all the flour at once and let it rise also should I heat the milk to 110 degrees won’t that curdle the eggs. Will coffee cans work instead of the paper molds
Hi M, I haven’t tried this recipe in the cans before so I’m not sure about how the bake time would need to be modified if at all – If the cans are the same width as the molds in this recipe and you divide into 3 cans, I imagine it would be a similar bake time. I wish I had a better answer but I really haven’t tested it that way. You might line the cans with parchment paper so it comes out easier. Anything over 110 can kill and deactivate your yeast, ensure it is not hotter than that.
Paska is in a few days and the molds won’t come in time, can I use a regular muffin tin?
Hi Lisa, I have not tested this, but one of our readers reported the following helpful review: “These came out awesome! I decided to make individual ones for my church’s function and they were a hit! I purchased: Kitchen Supply Paper Muffin/Cupcake Molds, a Set of 25 from Amazon. I had to adjust baking to about 20-23 min. and ended up needing to make extra topping but that was expected since it came out to 32 individual servings.” I hope that helps.
Lisa, you can use use tins that beans come in, just carefully remove the outer edge. This used to be done in Soviet Union for lack of proper hardware. You may need more than one tin to make Easter breads in them
Natasha, do you have any recommendations on making this kukich with 1 to 1 gluten free flour blend? Thank you.
Hi Irina, I haven’t tested this with gluten-free flour, so I’m not sure how that would work.
I come from a true Ukrainian family and we have NEVER put icing on our Paska. Sorry but doing that would ruin the bread and taste awful. No stars if you do this.
I totally agree with Anna! My Mom used to make paska for Easter and NEVER put icing on any of the loaves for our Ukrainian family.
That’s why it’s optional. Plenty of people add this to their paska in Ukraine please don’t spread misinformation.
I guess different families do things differently! My Ukrainian family, and others at our church, always put icing on babkas (which is what we call these– we call the low round bread with a braided top Paska). It’s a big country with a lot of regional variations!
I made these the day before Easter and they turned out great. I followed the directions and when I added the final 5 cups of flour, I had to add approx. 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra flour in order to get the dough less sticky where it wouldn’t stick to my hands. I used King Arthur Flour Sir Lancelot and it was wonderful. My oven is old and fluctuates a lot, so I had to keep an eye on it and it was really brown on the top, not golden. But when we cut into it on Easter morning, it was totally done inside and pretty wonderful! My mother lives with us and is 99 and is of 100% Russian heritage, so needless to say, she loved it. I did not ice the bread, I left the other two in their pannetore wrappers, placed them in a bag and tied them with a bow. Gave one to my daughter in law and one to her mother on Easter. Thank you so very much for this lovely recipe!
Thank you for sharing with us, Donna! So glad you enjoyed this recipe.
I have tried this recipe twice, most delicious Paska bread ever. Both times my breads caved in, instead of being rounded.
Do you know what could cause this?
Hi Helena, do you think it could have been over-proofed (proofing too long can exhaust your yeast)? Also, make sure your yeast is active and not expired. Lastly, avoid proofing in too hot of an oven since anything over 110 can kill and deactivate your yeast. I hope that helps. That’s not a fun outcome. I hope you had a wonderful Easter!
I am in the process of making these with my two daughters and we are so excited to taste them! I do, however have smaller molds. How full is each of your 3 large molds before you do the final rise? I’m trying to figure out how many molds I’ll need. they are 3.14”H x 4.33”W. thanks!
HI LIs, in step 3, I have a before and after of the rise and they are filled up about halfway initially. I haven’t tested with the smaller molds so it would have to be an experiment.
Hi Natasha! Thank you for sharing this recipe! This is the best Paska ever!! I’ve made this recipe twice already and I’m always amazed how good it is! Growing up in Ukraine, this brings back so many memories!! My family loves it! Thank you!!
Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. 🙂
Natasha…Love your site …Wish me luck…a first attempt of a Dutch Girl making Easter Paska for her Ukrainian Husband…it’s going to be great!!! Happy Easter to those you love. :))
I hope it turns out and I hope he loves it! 🙂 Let us know how it goes.
It was the best Easter bread I have ever tasted. I used all purpose flour and it worked fine. Thank you for recipe Natasha!
You’re very welcome! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Anna!
I love to bake!!! I tried your recipe last year also. It just doesn’t bake properly…..the texture is a git gummy but the outside is done. The bottoms burned and they were in the middle of the oven. I think putting them on a baking sheet would have helped. What can I do to improve the texture? I’m determined!!! I bake bread all the time so this is frustrating!
love your recipes.
I’m Ukrainian and would love to produce a perfect Paska!!!!!!
Hi Sylvia, make sure you are using the same size wrappers otherwise you would need to modify the bake time. Also, make sure you add enough flour and not too much. I follow this rule that it should “still feel sticky but won’t stick to your fingers”. Also, make sure you are giving them enough time to rise before baking or they will be denser and won’t bake through properly. Lastly, I suggest using an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is heating properly.
Thanks Natasha. Sounds very good to me. Go start it tomorrow. I hope it will still fresh on Sunday…. what you will recommend?..
When better to start? 🤔
Hi Margarita, One of my readers, Diane, gave the following make-ahead suggestion: “I always bake ahead and freeze it, removing it from the freezer on Holy Saturday to defrost. I usually pop it into the oven to warm it for Easter breakfast. The recipe I use does not have the glaze, but I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze it un-glazed and glaze when you’re ready.” I hope this is helpful.
I love this recipe. I was wondering if I double it do I need to double the rising time as well?
Hi Viktoriya, I don’t imagine you will need to double the rise time. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.
I have several 5 inch molds. Do you know about how many I could get using this recipe?
Hi Angelina, I do not. We used 3 molds that were 4.8″H x 6.75″ W, so if your 5” molds are similar to these dimensions then you could probably use 3 as well.
I tried making this last year. It was good, but remained partially uncooked in the center. What did i do wrong?
Hi Linda, I would look over the recipe again and make sure you didn’t miss anything. It could be your oven baking unevenly or running a bit hot causing it to bake faster on the outside. I would recommend getting an internal oven thermometer to check this and make adjustments as needed. I hope that helps!
I’ve recently started using Einkorn flour as a 1:1 substitute in my recipes thanks to a sudden sensitive stomach. Getting old is fun, isn’t it? So I was wondering what your thoughts are in the realm of using it for Paska. Einkorn is naturally low gluten so I don’t want to go through the process without the opinion of a pro. I thought about switching my Baba’s flour without telling her before Easter, but I can’t wait that long. Thank you for your time and amazing recipes!
Hi Beth, I wish I could be more helpful here, but I don’t have expereince with Einkorn. If you happen to test that here, I’d love to know how you like it!
Mine turned out great Natasha but I was taught old school and use large tomato juice cans. Free and they work great!
Glad you loved it, Dale. Thanks for your good comments and feedback!
Hi Dale, This is how my mother used to do it – using the juice cans. I tried Natasha’s recipe to a tee, using the wrappers, and especially using Canadian flour and was wowed with the results. But I certainly felt the nostalgia of the juice cans (de-labled of course) and will try that methodology next.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I grew up making Paskas with my babushka and mama and this was my first time making it by myself.
I used Bread Flour like someone suggested and baked on 350 for over 40min till brown but it didn’t bake properly. It was still wet inside and there was a hole when I tried cutting the bread the next day. I was so excited about this but it didn’t turn out as expected. What could have gone wrong? Any suggestions?
Hi, it’s probably a difference in the flour. If using Bread flour, typically you would use less bread flour compared to Canadian flour and if using a larger mold, you will need a longer baking time.
Thank you for replying. Next time I’ll try using a different kind of flour.
The molds were similar size to the ones you used.
Anastasiia, I’ve had the same problem with this recipe several years in a row. It’s very frustrating when the outside is so brown but the inside is still wet and has a hole!
In years past this usually only happened to one or two of my paska from a batch. This year my all 3 in my first batch turned out not quite done in the center/with a hole. After Easter I tried the recipe again, with 2 changes: I mixed the dough in my stand mixer rather than by hand, and after putting it into the molds for the final rise, I poked 4 holes in each paska with a toothpick. I figured this would give the air (which was obviously accumulating in the center, causing the hole) somewhere to go. I’m pleased to report that this did work and my after-Easter paska were just perfect!
Thank you for sharing your tips. Ill try poking the dough next time too. These paskas better be amazing after so many attempts of making them:)
I made this for friends of mine from Ukraine — one of whom grew up in Soviet times when Easter wasn’t exactly smiled on. Lyudmila in particular is therefore quite vocal in saying that traditions are important. She also remarked that she’d never made kulich herself for the reason that it takes so long to make — and her mother and grandmother (who survived the Holomodor) were usually the ones making it. So she was pretty impressed that I spent the entire day before Easter shuttling back and forth into my 100 degree attic (whose temperature was perfect for the yeast) to retrieve and replace bowls of dough all day.
I had little idea what I was doing when I made this, although just reading the recipe I knew I was going to need two very big bowls to mix it and that it was going to make a lot of bread.
I’m interested to hear what Iryna thinks, since she herself is a marvelous cook — and my supply of delicious Ukrainian things wrapped in cabbage and of Borshch.
Sadly, Maria is still working out her US “business owner” visa problems and is in Canada at the moment. But I did send her a photo of the result, and she asked me to take her loaf to her business in the US so her employees could get a taste of her home.
And my loaf, which I shared with neighbors and family went quickly. Personally I found the bread reminiscent of the “Sally Lunn” bread I used to eat as a kid growing up in Virginia. Perhaps that’s because it’s a sweet bread and there’s sour cream in it.
Any way you slice it, though, it’s delicious…
Hi Eric, I’m so glad you loved the recipe and thank you for sharing your story
First time kulich making , 10/10 !
It’s moist and delicious! I got lots of thumb ups and earned plenty brownie points . Thank you for this recipe. Definitely goes straight to “to – keep” folder .
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite!
Thanks for the recipe. I have just finished baking. Perfect Paska! I have added an extra tsp of rum flavoring, a zest of one lemon, 1/2 cup of dry cranberries and dark chocolate chips (as requested by the kiddos). We like all the extra stuff! Best wishes for your family for the Easter tomorrow. We love your website!
Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Yana! I’m so happy you’re enjoying my blog!
Omg!!!! Natasha!!!! I love it!!!! I’m actually sitting now drinking milk with apple pirog and cottage pirojok, made pasha, came out amazing!!!! I made portion and a half so that I could use for some rolls and pirogis. Everyone loved it! Thank you! This is “my” recipe now! I used king author flour.
Milk and pirojok are the best together! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Hello! This is my second year making these wonderful Pasky but I seem to keep having the same problem: they are beautifully round when they go into the oven for the final bake at 350 degrees but come out flat. Any suggestions?
Hi Natalie, it sounds like maybe the door could be rising for too long? If you Overproof the dough, you can exhaust your yeast and it won’t rise properly in the oven.
Thank you! Should I do less than 2 hours then?
Hi Natalie, it really depends on the room temperature they are rising in, but if you suspect they are over proofing I would do less time.
I halved the recipe and followed the recipe exactly, but the dough would not rise after I put it in the molds. I didn’t even have it rising in a hot oven, just in the “keep warm” setting. Don’t know what went wrong. Any helpful advice?
I wonder if my oven “keep warm” setting might have been too hot. I tried putting it at 100F but the oven setting would not let me go as low. If I can’t use my oven, what other warm place can I let the dough rise?
it does sound that way, check out our tip for using a warm microwave that we shared in our easy cinnamon rolls recipe.
Some ovens with the keep warm setting still heat to high. Many will heat up to 170°F which will kill the yeast and prevent the door from rising. If your oven heats that high, it’s best to set it to warm then turn it off and prop the oven open with a spoon to make sure it’s not too hot in there. I would test with an in-oven thermometer to see if your temperature is too high.
Hello Natasha! Thank you so much for this recipe! I don’t bake often and this was the first time I baked kulich. I made three of them (based on your recipe) and they look amazing! The only thing is next time I would consider adding a bit more of vanilla and sugar. Can’t wait to share them with my family and friends on Easter day!
I’m so glad you gave this a try and enjoyed it, Irina! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
The dough rose all three times. But, when baking, the tops were not round, rather somewhat flat. Did this happen to anyone else?
Hi Susan, this can happen if the dough is left to proof for too long and the yeast can become exhausted causing it to go flat in the oven.
I made this today. Now the hard part – waiting until after the Paschal Liturgy and getting the baskets blessed before cutting into it!
It smells wonderful, looks almost as good as yours. Only difference is that my glaze is almost clear rather than white.
Thanks for the recipe.
You’re welcome Joe!
What’s the best way to store these if not going to eat immediately?
Hi Jessika, if storing them for a few days, it might be easiest to store them unglazed. I would wrap them unglazed and keep at room temperature then glaze. Or you can cover it loosely with a grocery bag (plastic wrap might stick to the top) and leave it at room temp overnight. I wouldn’t refrigerate it. I hope you love it! 🙂
Im a big fun of your recipes. This year im going to try Easter Kulich from your website. But already got fresh yeast. How much of it do i need?
Hi Angela, I haven’t tried this recipe with fresh yeast. This article from Cook’s Illustrated does a good job comparing the different yeasts and offers a good substitution ratio of 2:1 when using fresh yeast instead of active dry yeast. They recommend using one small cake (0.6 oz) compressed fresh yeast instead of 1 packet active dry yeast (.25 ounces). 1 packet of active dry yeast has 2 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast. I hope that helps!
Do you knead the dough? Also, can I use a mixer to mix the dough? Do you put yeast into the warm milk to activate them? Never baked pasha before. Thanks!
Hi Julie, this dough is too sticky to knead, and kneading this one is not necessary. It’s more dense than fluffy. Yes, we used warm milk. I recommend reading through the entire recipe we share all our tips there.
I was wondering how many Paschas can you get from that recipes (and I’m talking big, med or small quantities)?
Hi Olya, I haven’t tested all the different sizes but this makes 3 large ones (I linked to the molds I used in the post above)
Dear Natasha, I have following your recipes for a while! Love trying them and watching your videos) This year I decided to make Paska following your recipe. Therefore I have a question if you can give me relevant link to converter of measures to metric system or advice how to do it better on my own)
Hello Natalia, you may use this Ingredient Weight Chart for guidance.
There is now an option right below the ingredient list to choose either metric or US system
Hi Natasha! Just for clarification: Pascha is the word for Easter and it is also the name of the pyramid shaped dessert made with baker’s cheese. Kulich is the rounded top bread
Maria, at the risk of sticking my neck out, I understand that in Russia your understanding is correct but I think in the Ukraine and other Slav countries Pascha is both!
I agree. That’s what my family from the Ukraine always called them.
Kulich is in Russian…Paska is in Ukrainian…Syrna Paska is the Pyramid shaped dessert you are referencing…that is also Ukrainian made with cheese and dried fruits…
Ah-mazing and better than my childhood . My first time making it, too. I used King Arthur bread flour, and didn’t have to add any extra flour.
I baked loaves to give away, but now I’m not so sure I want to give them away anymore lol.
Sounds awesome! Thank you for your great comments and feedback, Lena.
Works perfectly everytime! Delicious and tastes just as I remember it from my childhood.
I’m using regular all-purpose flour here in Florida, adding as much as the recipe says.
Thank you for that wonderful feedback, Ana! I’m so glad this brings back memories!
Great recipe. Made it yesterday. My family loved it. I just wanted to mention a couple of things. The dough rises a lot. So make sure you use a big bowl or after you add the remaining flour after the 1st rise devide the dough into 2 bowls. For the same reason don’t fill the molds more than half way. Otherwise your dough will attempt to escape. And i recommend adding more vanilla or better yet saffron to the dough. It gives the bread this very special flavor. By the way. This is called kulich. Paska is a sweet creamy spread you eat the kulich with. I’m sure you know. Just some of my American friends were confused. Thank you. This recipe is a keeper.
Hi Natalia, thank you for your tips and feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe!
How much Saffron do you add and at what stage?
I add a teaspoon of saffron threads to the milk as I warm it. I also cook mine in coffee cans (for the jumbo and large breads), stewed tomato (for medium) and soup and tomato paste for the small and mini breads. That is how my Baba made it. This recipe comes very close to hers (she never made hers with a recipe it was just a passed down skill perfected over the years.). I still haven’t been able to replicate the amazing thick crust of icing she had dribbling down from her domes (my favorite part as a child). Thank you so much for this recipe and the connection to my childhood. I haven’t had my Baba for a few Easters but this will be my first without my father. So I’m especially excited to feel connected.
I absolutely adore the recipe. I did not use the molds as I thought I can bake it in cake pans. I did not realize just how much dough there is! So, I have used cake pans, regular pans, aluminum camping cups and … beer cans with tops cut off. I had to watch the timing, but I got so many cutest little easter breads to give away.
Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
I made mine today and they looked amazing. Then I took off the molds… and tearing off the paper revealed large holes on two of the paski, holes that go all the way into the center of the paska. Around the edges of the holes it still looked uncooked, so I’ve tossed them back into the oven to try to at least cook the dough inside/around the hole. I don’t understand what happened! My yeast is good (I bake with it regularly) and I used King Arthur bread flour. Everything looked great during the rising and baking, it was only after removing the molds that I saw any problem. So strange!
Hi E, I haven’t had that experience – I wonder if there was maybe a gap of air trapped at the bottom somehow? Also, make sure to remove the paper once they have cooled and not remove it while the bread is hot.
This is alot different than the Paska recipe I’ve grown up with. We use grated lemon and orange zest in the bread. I grew up collecting cans from Christmas to Easter, which were used as molds/pans for the Paska. Making Paska for the last day of passover tomorrow. (www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca)
Thanks for sharing! I love how different cultures and parts of the world have different types of Easter Bread.
Your kulichi look delicious! Our family also used nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla bean and a touch of brandy in ours.
So I’m attempting to make this for the first time… I just received my panettone molds and they are humongous. 8 1/8 inches 😬. can I make this recipe using two of the larger pentatone molds instead of three? any ideas on how long it would take to cook them?
Hi Krista, that should work, but I would bake a little longer. I haven’t tested that size so I can’t say exactly how long. If anyone else has tested in an 8″ to 8 1/2″ mold, please let us know.
Hi Natasha! Quick question on using the oven for dough rising. Do I need to preheat the oven to 100 and then turn it off, or leave it at 100 the entire time the dough is rising? Thanks!
Hi Olga, we keep it at 100 degrees.
Hi Natasha. Can this recipe be mixed up in a bread maker? Thus, all ingredients would be added at the same time.
I was thinking that the bread maker can do the kneading and then I could bake the bread in the oven.
Hi Net, I haven’t tried it that way, but I think it could work, except the full recipe might not fit into a standard-sized bread maker since it makes 3 loaves.
Hi Natasha, does it really matter which steps you put the ingredients in? In the pictures it looks like the yeast goes in after sugar but in the description yeast is the 3rd ingredient added. I just want to make sure the yeast doesn’t have to go in with the warm milk and then the rest of the ingredients? Thank you!!
Hi Yana, I would go off of the written recipe steps in order.
My first time making Paska or any bread for that matter and it turned out great!! I used king Arthur’s flour and I added an additional cup because I thought it was still too sticky but I probably didn’t even have to do that. Don’t be put off by how wet the dough is, it turned out great! I used smaller personal sized forms and tweaked the baking time just a bit, I also added double the raisins, cranberries, while chocolate chips, orange zest and lemon zest! Thanks for another great recipe!
Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m so happy you enjoyed that.
Agh, advice I should have read an hour ago! I kept adding flour because my hands were covered in stickiness (“it’s still sticking to my hands!!!”). Probably added another 1-1/2 to 2 C flour and way overworked it or something. I’m not a baker so this made my anxiety shoot through the roof. Well, we’ll see how it comes out in the end…
Hi, is it ok to use stand mixer for this process or would you recommend to do everything by hand?
Hi Yuliya, that should work. Total mixing time should be about 15 minutes in the KitchenAid mixer, from the time you first start putting in the 5 cups of flour, one cup at a time. The key is to mix it until it is at the right consistency, as detailed in step 2. You don’t have to knead it very long.
This is my second time trying this recipe and sadly my second failure! It’s turn out with black top and very sticky raw dough inside!
They don’t even hold their shape((( Is that my stove? I’ve used 7” cake forms maybe that’s the problem?
Hi Liuba, it may be the size of the pan and how much they are being filled. Bigger ones take longer to bake through. I always recommend running the test with the recommended liners and sizes before experimenting.
Happy Good Friday Natasha! Great recipe, this is my 3rd Easter using it! I made a 3/2 up on the amount as they are big hits throughout my family and community… For fruit I use raisins, cranraisins and minced green glace cherries and I skip the glaze for gifted loaves but definitely enjoy it at home. All the best to everyone during these trying times!
Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Lorenzo! I’m so happy you enjoyed that.
Sorry to jump in here, do you bake with your oven a lot with no problem? It makes no sense that the top would burn but raw inside. Almost sounds like you are using the broiler? I don’t know, check your oven settings or do a test on whether your oven temperature is accurate (look online). There are oven thermometers to check that.
Can I use King Arthur flour? And how much if so?
Hi Irina, one of our readers wrote in sharing how much she loved the results of substituting with bread flour. She wrote: “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).”
Would it be okay to make the bread using a kitchenaid mixer with the bread attachment?
Hi Ruth, I haven’t tested that to advise. If you happen to experiment I would love to know how it goes.
I’ve used King Arthur bread flour and it worked great ! Same amount as the recipe calls! ☺️
That’s great to know – thank you!
Made this last year and loved it! My only problem was I couldn’t find your exact size molds that would come on time, so I ordered 3.5×3.5 inches (9x9cm) ones on amazon. I know you haven’t tried this exact size, but I’m not an experienced baker at all, can you give me an approximate recommendation on timing? I’ll of course be keeping a close eye on it as it’s baking.
Hi Galya, I haven’t tested that size, but my guess would be 25-30 minutes and probably closer to 25 minutes. Someone mentioned baking small ones for 22 minutes but they didn’t say the exact size they had.
Hi Natasha ! This recipe looks amazing but I had one question , do you need to knead this dough at all.? It didn’t say anything about kneading in the recipe and I know some other recipes online of paski require some kneading ! Thank you so much in advance!
Hi Inna, I would make the recipe exactly as written! We found it works really well this way. I hope you love it!
Thank you so much for a fast reply !! Your recipes are the best ! And this paska is the best one I’ve ever tried ! So moist and soft and sweet! By the way I used King Arthur bread flour and worked amazing!
I’m happy it worked with King Arthur bread flour! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
I have not read all the comments. So this question may have been asked. Can I use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? Thanks.
Hi Andrea, someone else shared that she used Plain Greek Yogurt and it worked well. I hope that helps!
Happy Easter Natasha and family! So, got started at about 8 am. It’s now after 3, and 4 beautiful paska are coming out of the oven in about 5 min! Woo hoo! I followed the recipe except used KAF AP flour. I think I’m also going to skip the glaze since I covered them in sprinkles before baking. Thank you for the detailed instructions!
I hope you enjoy and love them Joanne!
I have for many years made “Paska” and Kulich for Easter. Now, however, I find my traditional “Paska” is thought of as the bread instead of the sweet fruit/cottage or farmer cheese/butter spread that I make to go with the bread (Kulich). What is the spread called now and are people just not serving it anymore? It is my family’s favorite Easter treat!
I make Paska every year, and it is the cottage cheese, butter, eggs etc. Easter treat to go with the Kulich. they got this wrong. I have the recipe from my Russian grandmother, and in a Russian store nearby they do sell the Paska, formed like a cathedral, and they also have the Kulich.
Hello, I’m planing to bake kulichi this year. I am so puzzled with the flour though. I just went to Whole Foods and I saw King Arthur flour: all purpose and bread. Please advise which one should I get?
Hi Inna, we used 9 cups of all-purpose Canadian flour for this recipe.All-purpose works great for this recipe.
Can we freeze the paska?
Hi Nadia, One of my readers, Diane, gave the following make-ahead suggestion: “I always bake ahead and freeze it, removing it from the freezer on Holy Saturday to defrost. I usually pop it into the oven to warm it for Easter breakfast. The recipe I use does not have the glaze, but I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze it un-glazed and glaze when you’re ready.” I hope this is helpful.
Is it possible to make the pasta now and freeze it to have fresh for Ukrainian Easter?
Hi Nadia, you mean paska? I haven’t tried making it ahead, but I think it could work to refrigerate before the last rise and then let them come to room temperature and make the last rise on the counter. Also, one of my readers, Diane, gave the following make-ahead suggestion: “I always bake ahead and freeze it, removing it from the freezer on Holy Saturday to defrost. I usually pop it into the oven to warm it for Easter breakfast. The recipe I use does not have the glaze, but I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze it un-glazed and glaze when you’re ready.”
Wondering if you have tried making the dough/batter ahead of time before the final rise as you suggested in this comment? Thinking about trying to do so this week, but don’t want to ruin the recipe. Can’t wait to make these!
I haven’t tried making it ahead, but I think it could work to refrigerate before the last rise and then let them come to room temperature and make the last rise on the counter. Also, one of my readers, Diane, gave the following make-ahead suggestion: “I always bake ahead and freeze it, removing it from the freezer on Holy Saturday to defrost. I usually pop it into the oven to warm it for Easter breakfast. The recipe I use does not have the glaze, but I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze it un-glazed and glaze when you’re ready.
Is it possible to bake kulich in a Bundt pan? Or too, in a springform pan? If so, please share any alterations.
Hi Diane, I haven’t tested these out in a springform but I’m assuming it would work well. One of my readers reported great results using a round springform cake mold but did not state if any adjustments needed to be made in baking time. A wider and shorter paska would need less baking time though than a taller narrower one. You can try a bundt pan, please share with us how it goes!
My husband’s Mom is full Ukrainian. My mother-in-law made paska at Easter time. I am excited to try your recipe, It’s my husband’s favorite. Mom is unable to make it anymore. I would like to know what is the texture of this paska. Is it a light fluffy bread or on the dense side? I read on the internet that paska is a light kind of bread and few said it’s dense. I have no idea how it really should be. There are so many recipes from various countries calling this bread various names. Also, is this bread made completely by hand and not a stand mixer? You don’t mention about kneading, this dough doesn’t get kneaded? Thanks for sharing your recipe! !!!
Hi Tina, this dough is too sticky to knead, and kneading this one is not necessary. It’s more dense than fluffy. You might be thinking of this kind of Easter Bread for a fluffy bread.
If you were going to make buns instead of bread how long would you bake them? Thankyou
Love your recipes nancy
Hi Nancy, I haven’t tried that yet to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.
this sounds more like babka then paska? Can you still do the braided decorations on top? Or would this not work with this recipe?
Hi, we do have a Chocolate Babka Recipe here. This particular recipe doesn’t lend itself well to decorations and braiding.
Hi Natasha, can you re-use the mold wrappers?
Hi Nadia, the paper molds are not re-useable.
I am going to try this recipe this year. Last year was the first year I used panettone molds, but I am always looking for a recipe that tastes more like my mother in laws. This looks closest, I can’t wait for Easter 2021!
Sounds like a good plan, Sally. I hope you love it!
BEST. PASKA. EVER!!!
First time using this recipe and it’s already become the ONLY one I’m going to use from now on!!!
I also steeped some saffron in the warm milk first, because I always had saffron flavoured paska growing up. The flavour is lovely, and the texture is amazing!
That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing that with me, Katrina! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe!
Do you use Instant (quick) yeast? Or active dry yeast?
My Baba’s recipe requires the yeast to be proofed in warm milk with sugar first, but you don’t do that, so now I’m curious!
Hi Katrina, we used active dry yeast for this recipe.
Thank you! So it’s the little tiny round balls of yeast? I thought you have to proof it first. On the package it says to proof it separately in 1/4cup warm milk to activate it before adding it to your mixture.
(Kind of new to baking, just want to make sure so I dont waste ingredients)
Thank you again!
Hi Katrina, you want to make sure the package says “active dry yeast” and it will proof in that first step as it rests.
Gotcha! Thank you so much! I am going to make it next week and let you know!
We look forward to your feedback.
Tried it yesterday and it went great! Because I did not read the recipe carefully enough before I started I finished 11pm, but that’s ok
I did not use frosting and just started eating it fresh from the oven. SO good! Rich but super-fluffy, just the right amount of sweet and lovely yeast and butter flavors.
By the way: I did not have paper molds, so I just used a loaf tin and two small cooking pots instead, which I pre-coated with butter and flour, so that they wouldn’t stick. Worked absolutely well. Thanks for the recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Jan! Thank you for that great review!
Another well written recipe. I gently pre warmed my kitchen and bowls to help the rising – which went berserk. Made 12 small pasky! Subbed cranberries for the raisins, and used what’s called Instant Dried Yeast in Australia. My narrow and/or short shapes only needed 20min in the oven. Thanks, Natasha. This is the 3rd traditional recipe I’ve done of yours, and feel so confident in your writing and advice.
You’re welcome, Tanya. Thanks for giving this recipe a try and for sharing your experience with us. I appreciate it!
I have a question is this bread like panettone Italian bread for Christmas time? Thanks
Hi Nina, this is a similar concept recipe, yes.
Dear Natasha! Spasibo bolshoe for this wonderful recipe! My husband from Piter was over the moon! I have to share now the recipe with all the Russian neighbours from my MIL 😉 Thanks again and happy Orthodox Easter to you!
As I was too late to order a kulich form, I used my Austrian Bundt cake form. So it was a sort of joint venture:)
Thanks for sharing that and for giving this recipe an excellent review. I hope that you ad your husband will love every recipe that you’re going to try!
I’m making this Kulich recipe right now, I got started a little late, maybe too late to get help…
The language in the recipe and the ingredient list both say to use 6 eggs. Thinking my batter looks a little runny. Looking back over the recipe I noticed in the recipe photos it looks like only the egg yolk is being added. Which is correct?
Hi Jason, 6 whole eggs is correct. Make sure to use large eggs and not extra-large to keep the proportions the same. That could also happen when using a different kind of flour that has less gluten or protein content and in that case you would need to add more flour.
I made it again! This is my 6th or 7th year using this recipe. I wish I could add a picture of it! Thank you!!!
Love it! Sounds like this is one of your favorite recipes! You can share photos of your creation on our Facebook page or group.