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

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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!!!”

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 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. 

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-5

Paska 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)

4.92 from 226 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Traditional Paska Easter Bread Recipe a.k.a. Kulich has been made by our family for generations.
Prep Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 3 large paska breads
  • 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:

What you'll need:

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

Instructions

  • 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.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Kulich, Paska Easter Bread
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Jillian
    May 5, 2024

    Great recipe and your instructions make it easy to make! The consistency of the Kulich is light and moist, just wonderful. I do think next time, I will add more flavor – my family has another similar recipe that adds 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla. I think lemon zest may also be a great addition.

    I substituted one cup of flour with rolled cooking oats, and added an additional 1/2 cup of bread flour which I used instead of Canadian flour. Added a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Baked in 3 small oatmeal containers and 1 large oatmeal container, lined with paper bags coated with crisco.

    Overall the recipe was perfect and I will definitely use in the future! Thank you!!

    Reply

  • Julie
    April 30, 2024

    Hi Natasha,
    Do I have to grease paper molds? I imagine not. Thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 1, 2024

      Hi Julie! No, it is not necessary to grease them. I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • Natalie
    April 30, 2024

    Have you ever let it rise overnight and then bake in the morning?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 1, 2024

      Hi Natalie! I have not, but one of my viewers reported letting these rise in her oven overnight and then baking them in the morning with good results. I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • Elena
    April 23, 2024

    Hi Natasha,
    Can i double the recipe or will it be too difficult with the rising part?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 23, 2024

      Hi Elena! Yes, you can double it but it will take longer to rise.

      Reply

  • Raisa
    April 12, 2024

    I am short on time. Can I make this earlier, freeze it, and then defrost the night prior to Paska?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 12, 2024

      Hi Raisa! Here is a suggestion from one of my viewers: “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.”
      I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Z
    April 1, 2024

    This is my second time using this recipe and it was very accurate both times. Everyone loved it last time and this time. I still have to tweak the baking time as last time it was not done inside all the way through and this time quite brown on the outside, but perfect inside. I put less batter in the molds so maybe I can adjust the baking time a little. Either way, the family loves this and it makes plenty to share!
    Try making French Toast with any leftovers!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 1, 2024

      Great to hear that your family loves this recipe! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Ivan Tsarevich
    March 31, 2024

    Natasha, been making kulich every Easter for more than 40 years. I simply love your recipe and technique. I alternate between yours and one of mine, depending on what flour I have in the bin at the time. Mine is hydration adjusted for US AP flour and gets kneaded for 3-4 minutes after first proof and main flour addition. Other times I use yours with KA bread flour (12.7% protein). Oh … I do add saffron and a pinch of cardamom, but recipes are guidelines, yes?

    My comment, that you may use or delete at your pleasure, regards flours and some of the fails reported in other reviews. Canadian AP flour (c.f. Robin Hood, Five Roses, etc.) is 13.3% protein, by law and typically milled from hard red winter wheat. US flour has no protein content requirement, per se. US AP varies drastically, from White Lilly at 6.7% (soft white winter wheat), to King Arthur and Bob’s at 11.7% (hard red winter). Wheat type and protein content determines gluten development, and hydration % is very important (unbaked holes in the middle). The best alternative for US folks is bread flour. Again it’s hit or miss, but the premium millers are totally acceptable; King Arthur (12.7 – 13.4% hard red winter) and Bob’s Red Mill (12.8 – 13.8% Hard red winter). Long winded, sorry, but reading about all the hard work and love going into such a wonderful and spiritual treat, only to have a fail, makes me want to cry. Thus, this comment. Khristos Voskrese!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 1, 2024

      Thank you so much Ivan! I really appreciate that and I’m certain it will help others.

      Reply

    • Linda
      May 5, 2024

      Thank you for this info. Are these flours readily available in US grocery stores?

      Reply

  • Tanya
    March 29, 2024

    Natasha, thank you for the wonderful recipe!
    It tastes so good.
    Also I wanted to make a note: do not repeat my mistake! I placed dough in the oven warmed up to 375F instead of 350 F as it says in the recipe. My Easter bread didn’t fully bake inside! Next time I will be following the instructions!

    Reply

  • Lillian Moe
    March 28, 2024

    If I cut the recipe in half, should I also cut the yeast quantity in half?
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 28, 2024

      Hi Lillian! Yes, cut all the ingredients in half.

      Reply

  • Linda Valla
    March 28, 2024

    I used the instant yeast and it didn’t work as well as the traditional yeast. However my other recipe only called for 2 risings instead of 3. I cut the sugar to a half also. It certainly made my house smell like Easter is coming!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 28, 2024

      Thank you for sharing that with us, Linda.

      Reply

  • Joy
    March 27, 2024

    Can I substitute Quick Rise Instant yeast for the Active Dry yeast in the recipe for the Easter Paska?
    Thankyou

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 27, 2024

      Hi Joy! I use active dry yeast (not instant yeast). I haven’t tested this recipe with instant yeast. Maybe you don’t need as much rising time with the instant but without testing it, I can really only recommend the regular yeast.

      Reply

  • Bob
    March 26, 2024

    The best bread ever 🍞🥖
    I love pasca 🍞🥖 it’s even better than snowflakes ❄️
    And carrots 🥕
    And olives 🫒
    And broccoli 🥦

    Reply

  • Abby
    March 24, 2024

    We followed the directions exactly how written and our dough rose and baked beautiful, on the outside. Unfortunately there was a hollow, raw space in each loaf, what a disappointment!!!! Please send help!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 25, 2024

      HI Abby, I haven’t had that happen before. Could the dough have bene overproofed (this can exhaust the yeast so it doesn’t bake up properly)

      Reply

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