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.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Paska Easter Bread Recipe (Kulich)

4.91 from 217 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 Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • David Davis III
    March 23, 2014

    I like this

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 23, 2014

      Thank you 🙂

      Reply

  • Olga's Flavor Factory
    July 19, 2013

    I love paska! With those Panettone Paper Baking Molds, they would be very sturdy enough. Tomato or pineapple juice cans are fine, just make sure the sharp edges have been removed or it will ruin everything.

    Would include this in my plans for next Easter. Thanks!

    Reply

  • MK
    May 6, 2013

    Natasha – I have tried to make paska for over 20 years and this year I finally nailed it, thanks to you and your recipe. This was my best one ever!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 6, 2013

      Music to my ears :D, thank you for the good report.

      Reply

  • Kate
    April 28, 2013

    I made this last night. I bought the Panettone Paper Baking Molds at Sur La Table. The largest size (like in Natasha’s pictures), are $1 each. This recipe filled 3 of the molds.
    The recipe was good (perfect amount of sugar)!
    But my kulich turned out like a kirpich (brick)! I let the dough rise for one hour more than the recipe directed, so maybe that is a factor, I’m not sure. I don’t think I’m going to be trying this again because I don’t have the talent it takes to make dough fluffy even though I followed the recipe exactly (almost)!
    I had to keep the kulichs in the oven longer because when I first took them out the center was raw. Even after keeping them in the oven for about 10 minutes longer and having the sides brown, the center was still rawish, and overall the dough didn’t taste fluffy.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 28, 2013

      Hi Kate, what kind of flour did you use? Also, did you use active dry yeast (not instant yeast!)? I’m trying to figure out what might have gone wrong. The extra rising time shouldn’t have hurt it. I had a similar outcome once when I put it in an oven that was too hot for rising and it killed the yeast. Could that have been the problem. I stressed that in the recipe because I made that mistake myself and had to toss a full batch :(!

      Reply

  • Maria
    April 26, 2013

    Hi Natasha,

    I baked my kulichi in parchment lined oatmeal containers, which I do every year. Two out of three didn’t dome. The third wasn’t as tall as the others but domed beautifully. What did I do wrong? If I turn the none domers upside down, they look ok….it all works in the end. I am going to do another batch today but would love to have everything turn out perfect. Ay advice? Thanks for the recipe!

    Maria

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 26, 2013

      I’ve never tried with parchment lined oatmeal containers. How big were they? And you followed all the steps and didn’t skip any? How long did you let it rise at the end? Sorry for the many questions, it’s hard to say without being there with you! 🙂

      Reply

      • Maria
        April 28, 2013

        Hi Natasha,

        The two tall ones that didn’t dome are about ten inches tall. The one that domed is about seven inches. The two non-domers almost look like a flopped soufflés. I followed every step, and the last rising was two hours in the canisters. Maybe I put too much dough in the canisters?

        Thanks,

        Maria

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          April 28, 2013

          That could be; if there’s too much dough, they would take longer to rise, but I’m still not sure why they didn’t dome? I haven’t had that issue with these and I made them three times before Easter just to make sure I had the recipe down.

          Reply

          • Maria
            April 29, 2013

            I am going to make kulich today and will let you know how things turn out. This time, though,I won’t fill up my forms as much.

            Fingers crossed!

            Thanks,

            Maria

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            April 29, 2013

            Keep me posted!! 🙂

          • Maria
            April 30, 2013

            The second batch turned out about the same. I am thinking it must be my oven. The kulichi smell good, and decorated will be be just fine.

            Thanks,

            Maria

  • xAnastasiya
    April 25, 2013

    Ah! Once again, you have matched my Babushkas quality, absoloutely amazing! I serve it with a sweet cream cheese and it’s divine.
    Only a few more days until I can show off my new skills at Easter, thankyou so much!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 25, 2013

      Awesome, you are very welcome Anastasiya :).

      Reply

  • Cindy Kagen
    April 16, 2013

    Hello Natasha!
    I also have a very similar recipe 🙂 however I also add a tiny bit of Cardamom. Its adds a wonderful flavor.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 16, 2013

      I should try that next time, thank you for sharing Cindy :).

      Reply

  • Inna
    April 11, 2013

    Future reference everybody!:
    Those molds are the only way to go!
    I used a regular baking form. Messed my whole Paskha up! The point is for the sheet to be thin. Don’t make my mistake…

    Reply

  • Upachka
    April 9, 2013

    Natasha… Can I start the dough at night and finish in the morning?
    Pls advise. Can’t wait to try this recipe …. I’ve tried three others and none of them are as close as my moms. This one sounds like what my mom used to do. Also, can I use rum … If so… How much and when would I add it in?
    Spacebo!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 9, 2013

      I guess you could do it at night, but you’d have to wake up every 2-3 hours and that wouldn’t be much fun! Put the rum in instead of vanilla and add it in step one instead of vanilla.

      Reply

  • Tanya
    April 1, 2013

    I Made this Kulich, exactly by your recipe. It was my first time ever making my own Pasxa. And I have to tell you it was SO SO SO DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No one believed me that it was my first time baking a Kulich:)
    Thanks so much for all your great recipes.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 1, 2013

      Oh that’s music to my ears 🙂 How wonderful. Congrats on your first Easter bread; I’m so happy it was a success for you!

      Reply

  • Carlyn
    March 30, 2013

    Super recipe! I added zest of 1 lemon since my Baba insists on lemon in Easter Bread. And, being from Canada I enjoyed being asked to use “Canadian” flour – all my flour is Canadian!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2013

      All of your baked goods must be amazing. You do have the best flour! It’s so nice to hear from you coming all the way from Canada!! 🙂

      Reply

  • LKulik
    March 30, 2013

    Awesome recipe! Made these last night, and my hubby was standing by me to cut him a piece as soon as i got them out of the oven. The only thing i did different is just used egg yolks instead of the whole egg, and used the whites for icing. And ended up using 8 cups of flour. Turned out amazing, just the way i love pasxi. Thank you so much for your time and delicious recipes. I am sure you make lots of husbands happy when wives cook by your recipes! Blessings to you!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2013

      Ha! That’s such a sweet thing to say. Now that is a happy thought 🙂

      Reply

  • Tanya
    March 30, 2013

    Natasha i let the dough stand for 2.5 hours, for the first rest period. Do you think that will be a problem for the recipe?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2013

      That should not be a problem :).

      Reply

  • Augustina
    March 30, 2013

    Quick question. Do I have to use Canadian flour? Or can I use regular all purpose flour. I checked 3 different grocery stores and did not find Canadian flour :/

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2013

      My mom used all purpose bleached Pillsbury and it worked great too.

      Reply

  • Valentina
    March 30, 2013

    Awesome recipe!!!!!!!!! I’ve made paska using other recipes the past 12 years, but this is the best one ever!!!! Thank you so much Natasha, for making it so simple. I will never use any other recipe :))))

    Reply

    • Valentina
      March 30, 2013

      I used my round glass Pyrex bowl set to bake in, no foil or wax paper needed, but butter the pan very well & remove right away unto cooling rack after baking. I also used only – 1 1/2 cups sugar, but double raisins & zest of 2 lemons . Delicious!!!!!!

      Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2013

      Thank you for such a sweet comment Valentina :).

      Reply

  • nadya
    March 30, 2013

    u think i could bake them in coffee filters?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2013

      I don’t think it would work, not sturdy enough. Try to use soup pot with straight walls or see if anyone in the family has coffee cans.

      Reply

      • nadya
        March 30, 2013

        ok ill make them as cupcakes.. so they still need to rise 2 hours if making cupcake size?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          March 30, 2013

          They should at least double in size.

          Reply

          • nadya
            March 30, 2013

            thank u! and btw what i meant with the coffee filter is… if i put it in a baking bowl and put the coffee filter in it..

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            March 30, 2013

            Just use a baking bowl, but first grease it and flour it, Pyrex dishes work good as well.

  • Nadya89
    March 30, 2013

    Do u soak the raisins? Or wash them?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2013

      I have not for this recipe, but if you prefer to wash them, that’s totally fine.

      Reply

  • Pat Tucker
    March 30, 2013

    I know it’s late, but King Arthur’s site, under bread giving, sells an assortment of sizes for paper pans. Check/compare to Amazon…I also thought Williams & Sonoma would carry online, none could be found..maybe a call to a local store…

    Reply

  • Inna
    March 30, 2013

    Hey Natasha.
    Do you have another idea of how I can out it in 100′ it’s gonna be raining today so I can’t out it out in the sun. And my oven can go lower than 170′

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2013

      Preheat the oven to 170°, turn it off and leave the door open for a minute. Put a towel over the rack. Set the bowl on top of the towel, cover it with another damp towel and leave the door propped open with a wooden spoon.

      Reply

  • Vitaliy
    March 29, 2013

    Great recipe! Any particular reason for the Canadian flour vs the regular white?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 29, 2013

      You can use regular bleached all purpose flour. Canadian flour has slightly softer results, but all-purpose works too 🙂

      Reply

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