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Happy Easter! If you’re like me, then you love to bake delicious treats during the Easter season. This year, why not try something a little different and whip up some Russian Easter Bread? Also known as ‘Kulich’, this Slavic favorite is traditionally served for breakfast on Easter morning. The sweet smells of cardamom and freshly baked sliced almonds will fill your home with joy and make everyone in the family smile from ear to ear in anticipation. Not only does Russian Easter bread look beautiful, but it tastes even better – making it an ideal dish for your holiday table! So grab your ingredients, preheat your ovens, and let’s get baking!
Russian Easter Bread (Kulich):
The delightful aroma and exquisite taste of Russian Easter Bread, or Kulich, evokes a sense of joy and camaraderie during the festive season. As a symbol of rebirth and renewed faith, this rich, cylindrical, brioche-like bread beautifully intertwines the culinary and spiritual aspects of the celebration. This delectable treat features a variety of flavors derived from ingredients such as raisins, candied peel, and spices, complemented by a fragrant hint of saffron in more lavish versions.
The golden-brown crust is often adorned with a decadent sugar glaze and topped with sprinkles or almonds, while occasionally embellished with the sacred “XB” inscription, representing the Cyrillic phrase “Christ is Risen,” to honor the essence of the holiday. Through centuries of culinary artistry, Russian Easter Bread not only graces festive tables with its gastronomical appeal but also conveys the vivacious spirit of the occasion.
Traditions and Origins
Kulich, a traditional Russian Easter bread, boasts a rich and fascinating history that contributes to its widespread popularity in today’s celebrations. This decadent, dome-shaped sweet bread, adorned with a sugary glaze and colorful sprinkles, represents the joyous resurrection of Jesus Christ and carries a significant cultural and religious symbolism deeply rooted in Russian Orthodox Christian practices. The origins of Kulich date back many centuries when it was initially baked during the pre-Christian spring festivities and subsequently adopted as a vital element of Easter culinary traditions upon the advent of Christianity in Russia.
A professional baker would artistically craft each Kulich, ensuring meticulous care is taken to create the perfect form and flavor, further highlighting its revered status. Remarkably, the annual blessing of Kulich by a priest grants it an added layer of spiritual significance, transforming it into a sacred item consumed during the highly anticipated Easter festivities. With its intriguing past and captivating allure, Russian Easter bread continues to captivate the hearts and taste buds of those who partake in its timeless cultural and religious legacy.
Russian Easter Bread (Kulich)
If you want to try this Russian Easter Bread (Kulich) Recipe, share your photo and experience with us. In addition, let us know what you think in the comments below by using #bestbakingtip, #russianeasterbread, and #kulich
Russian Easter Bread (Kulich)
Let’s gather the ingredients!
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast or 1 package
- ¼ cup water lukewarm
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup milk lukewarm
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 8 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cardamom ground
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 - 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ cup candied orange rind chopped
- 2 large egg whites
- In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, ¼ cup sugar, and milk. Mix until the yeast and sugar have dissolved.
- Stir in 1 cup flour until well blended. Cover and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Add vanilla, cardamom, salt, and enough of the 3 to 3½ cups flour to make a soft dough. Stir in raisins, almonds, and orange rind.
- In a small bowl, beat 2 reserved egg whites until stiff. Fold them into the dough. Knead by machine or hand until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat both sides. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
- Preheat the oven to 400℉, then coat a 2-pound coffee can or kulich pan with cooking spray.
- Punch down the dough and knead a few times. Place it in the prepared pan, cover it with greased plastic wrap, and let rise until the dough reaches the top of the can.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 350℉ and bake another 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester or long toothpick or thin skewer comes out clean.
- Remove the kulich from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Unmold from the can and cool on a wire rack.
- Serve warm and enjoy with family and friends!
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To Wrap It All Up
Russian Easter bread is a special treat that will definitely make your Easter special. You can customize the recipe with different types of toppings like dried fruits and hazelnuts to make it even more delicious. If you’re looking for something unique to impress your family and friends this Easter, give Kulich from Russia a try. Your guests will praise your culinary skills when they taste this sweet treat! Plus, the process of making it is so easy that distant relatives living in other countries would be able to whip one up quickly. Let us know what you think about these traditional recipes and share your experiences in the comments section below! We can’t wait to hear all about your special Easter treats. Happy baking!
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