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Braided Easter Bread Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
This Braided Easter Bread has the softest crumb. It is laced with farmer cheese and studded with apricots and orange zest which gives the entire loaf amazing flavor and aroma. Make this Easter Bread your new Easter tradition. This brings a cheese Paska and Classic Kulich together into 1 impressive Easter bread! | natashaskitchen.com

Braided Easter Bread is soft and has a surprise inside! This Easter bread is laced with farmers cheese, apricots, and orange zest which give the loaf amazing flavor and aroma.

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $10-$12
Calories: 300 kcal
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

For the Paska Easter Bread Dough:

For the Farmer Cheese (Tvorog) Filling:

  • 8 1/2 oz farmers cheese (1 3/4 cups packed)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots chopped
  • 2 tsp orange zest from 1 medium orange

For the Egg Wash:

Instructions

  1. In a measuring cup, Combine 1/2 cup warm milk (not hot),1 tsp sugar and 1 1/2 tsp yeast. Stir to combine and let sit 10 min to proof.

  2. In a small bowl, add 1 egg, remaining 3 Tbsp sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and whisk together. Whisk in warm melted butter (NOT HOT). Lastly whisk in proofed yeast mixture.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, add 2 1/4 cups flour then add wet ingredients. Combine dough with a spatula then knead by hand 10 min. Dough will be soft and not sticking to your hands. Form dough into a ball then cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.

  4. Meanwhile, make cheese filling: In a medium bowl crumble farmers cheese with a fork. Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 egg yolk. Use spatula to blend until combined and somewhat creamy. Add diced apricots and 2 tsp orange zest.

  5. Once dough has risen, punch it down and transfer to lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 12"x9" rectangle, between 1/8" and 1/4" thick. Add cheese filling and spread evenly leaving a 1/2" border at the edges.

  6. Roll dough into a log starting from the long end and pinch edges to seal. Cut the roll in half to split into 2 strands, keeping them attached at one end. Overlap the 2 strands starting at the connected end and weaving them together towards the ends. Pinch the ends to seal. Carefully transfer braid cut-side up to a greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise/puff up at room temperature 30-45 min. Beat 1 egg with 1 tsp water and generously brush egg wash over risen loaf.

  7. Bake in center of oven at 350˚F for 35 to 40 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest 5 minutes in pan then transfer to wire rack. Dust warm bread with powdered sugar. Once cooled to room temperature, slice and serve.