Nadia’s Kulich ~ Russian Easter Bread

Happy March everyone and because Easter is just 22 days from today I wanted to post the recipe I promised for my mother’s Russian Easter Bread, Kulich. The big question is…will ellen b. finally attempt making it this year??? We’re off for our beach walk and had a very busy day yesterday so I hope to get around to blogs later and a post about my Friday.

I promised my mom’s recipe for Kulich. Now what you need to know about my mom and recipes is that she ends up tweaking them from year to year so this recipe is the last written down recipe for her Kulich from 2001.

Ingredients:

16 egg yolks
4 eggs
5 C. sugar
1 quart whipping cream
1 quart half and half
1 T. salt
5 cubes butter ( 2-1/2 cups )
1/2 C. oil
1 shot apricot brandy
6 teaspoons powdered vanilla
Zest of 2 lemons
8 pkgs rapid rise yeast
1 T. sugar
1 Cup water and 1 Cup milk
About 10 lbs of flour

Of course most of you will need to cut this recipe in half or quarters cuz this is enough for an army (my extended family)

Add yeast to the cup of water and cup of milk. Make sure the liquids are lukewarm. Let this mixture dissolve and sit. In the meantime beat the eggs, only use a stainless steel bowl. (because mom says it will work better that way). Now add the 1 T. of sugar into the yeast mixture and stir to dissolve.

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and mix to combine. Mix the half and half with the whipping cream and heat until lukewarm. Add the half and half mixture to the eggs. Mix in the vanilla and brandy. Add the yeast mixture and the salt and beat with a mixer. Continue beating and add the lemon zest. Continue beating and add the flour about a cup at a time. Once you cannot beat the dough any longer, put the dough on a floured surface and start incorporating the flour by kneading the dough. The dough should be kneaded very well approximately 10 minutes. You should knead the dough until you can cut it with a knife and it is smooth without any holes. Place the dough in a stainless steel bowl. Take some oil and pour a little on the dough and spread it all over the dough. Make sure to turn the dough so it is coated evenly. Cover with plastic wrap right on the dough and a dish towel on top of that. Place in a warm place away from drafts to rise. (My sister usually puts it into the oven that has been warmed slightly.

It is now time to prepare the coffee cans (1 lb. and 2 lb. cans are the best) Cut circles the size of the bottom of the cans out of wax paper. You will need four circles per can. Make sure the cans are well greased. Put the 4 circles in the bottom of the cans.

 

Use a empty and clean coffee can like the one above. Take the label off. You’ll need to use a can opener to cut the lip off the can. I hope these pictures will make the process easier to understand.

Cut sheets of wax paper long enough to line the sides of the can and tall enough to be 2″ above the rim of the can. Use crisco to seal the ends of the paper.

Here’s a can with the bottom and sides lined with the wax paper.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it over. Let it rise a second time until it doubles in size. Punch it down again. You will take a portion of dough about 1/3 the size of the can. Knead it and form it into a smooth ball that you can easily drop into the can. Let the dough rise again inside the can until it is at least double in size. Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on top. Let them cool slightly in the cans. Remove them from the cans and then cool completely on their sides. Cover them with a towel and turn them several times so they keep their shape.

 

To go with this bread my mom always makes a wonderful sweet cheese topping that is formed in a mold in different shapes. For my mom’s Sernaya Paska (cheese spread) recipe click here.

16 thoughts on “Nadia’s Kulich ~ Russian Easter Bread

  1. Looks like a lot of work!

    But worth it!

    You said: “To go with this bread my mom always makes a wonderful sweet cheese topping that is molded.”

    What does it mean, “that is molded?”

    I guess I’m dense this morning because I can’t figure that part out.

    : D

  2. Wow! I bet it’s delicious.

    I tried a Mennonite paska bread once when I lived out in Manitoba – it took 12 eggs – and it was delicious too.

    But I wouldn’t want to figure out how many steps I would have to take to work that off . . .

  3. I always love seeing different recipes for Paska/Easter Bread /Kulich. Your mom’s recipe is very similar to my mom’s with lots of eggs. I adopted my husbands grandma’s recipe as my own and then changed it up a bit more. I love how that works. Oh and the cheese spread is also very similar.

    My paska is in pans as I write this. . .

  4. Pingback: Kulich - Russian Easter Bread « The Happy Wonderer

  5. Thank you for the recipe! I made the bread this weekend. I couldn’t find the vanilla powder and made that myself with powdered sugar and a vanilla bean. I must have looked like an “I love Lucy” eposide. The yeast started to raise, and raise, and raise, yup right over the pitcher I had it in. Then my “borsch” pot wasn’t big enough to have the bread raise, therefore, I used a very clean new plastic trash bucket! And my 5 large coffee cans wasn’t enough for baking. I also made two regular loaves and some muffins from the same batch. But, it was fun and worth every penny and minute! Everyone loved it, and it brought back so many found memories. Best toasted very lightly with a cup of tea.

  6. Hey, MY mom’s Kulich is the best! Here in the San Francisco Bay area she gets the most compliments from all the relatives and church ladies and extended family!

    And her Paskha is to die for. It’s Russian Easter morning and I am trying (like a fool) to figure out the points for Kulich and Paskha based onthe Weighwatchers guides. She just told me she uses

    4 quarts of 1/2 and 1/2, buttermilk
    5 egg yolks
    1 pound of sugar and
    3/4 of a pound of butter.

    Then some magic happens, its turns into a cheesy conconction and voila, we have this yummy spreadable goo that wouldn’t stand up in a mold if we tried since it is too rich!

    It’s time to go visiting and try everybody’s Easter food!

    Tell me who you are….

    “Hristos Voskrese” (Christ is Risen)

    Helen (Lena) Volhontseff

  7. Recipes were printed in the Buffalo Evening News back in 1971. That’s when I started making Pashka and Kulich for our Easter celebrations in our Lutheran home in North Tonawanda. I have made them every year since. I now live in Texas and take Pashka and Kulich to the reception following the Great Vigil of Easter. No one had every eaten this and could not get enough.

    This article is great. Thank you.

  8. I need some help. I’m a bit confused as to what ‘5 cubes’ of butter means. Is it 5 TLBS. or 5 sticks of butter?

    Thanks.

  9. you can get a flax seed substitute for butter and substitues for eggs too. i found this flaxseed mixture at costcos and love the healthy option which i use half yummy butter and then half flaxseed. i think that the five cubes of butter mean the one where you but a pound at the store and it comes in a box with four cubes or sticks but i could be totally wrong. considering the big batch this makes though i wouldn’t be surprised if it takes the box stick/cubes. i’ll be making this yummy recipe soon and will find out for sure 🙂 Happy Easter all

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