Thursday, 12 April 2012

Easter recipe for the file

Yes, I sometimes get a bit carried away. While others are deleting clothes and objects from their lives I am acquiring more and more. Not actually hoarding but collecting. Where does one stop and the other begin?
I have not yet tried this Easter treat but it looks so good that I am collecting the recipe. Next year I shall have the most delicious array of Easter foods in the city.

Russian Easter Bread

Kulich is a sweet Easter bread and a part of the Russian Orthodox Easter tradition. It is similar to the Italian panattone. Traditionally the Kulich, along with coloured hard boiled eggs, is blessed by the priest before the Easter mass. It is then eaten as the first food of the day for the week following Easter.

Bake this in cans you already have.
The Kulich is baked in tall cans, such as coffee cans or tomato cans. After baking it is decorated with a basic glaze and sometimes a candle is put in the top. This bread lasts well in the freezer.

Makes 2 x 1kg coffee tins or 4 x 400g tomato tins.

1/3 cup sultanas (some cooks use mixed fruit)
2 Tablespoons vodka

1 cup milk
a few saffron threads
2 teaspoons dry yeast (or 1 sachet)
1/2 cup caster suagar
60g butter
3 Tablespoons honey
zest of 1 lemon or orange
500g plain flour (allow a little extra for kneading)
2 eggs, beaten

Allow the sultanas to soak in the vodka overnight.

  1. Heat the milk to lukewarm. Add the saffron threads, yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Leave this mixture to foam for about 15 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the honey and lemon zest. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Combine the flour and the remaining sugar.
  4. Pour in the yeast mixture, butter mixture, sultanas and eggs.
  5. Mix to combine. This will be a sticky dough, but quite elastic.
  6. Knead until smooth, using extra flour.
  7. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap.
  8. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take several hours.
  9. Line the cans for cooking. Use baking paper; otherwise, use lots of oil to grease the tins.
  10. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for a few minutes.
  11. Divide the dough into portions and make into balls. Place one in each can. It will make the tin about 1/3 full.
  12. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  13. Cover the tins and allow the dough to rise again. When they are about 3/4 full they are ready for the oven. To speed the process place the tins on top of the stove or in the sun (covered well).
  14. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked.
  15. Leave to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes then tap out. Place on rack to cool so the air circulates.
  16. Decorate with a glaze made from icing sugar and lemon juice.
  17. Some families decorate with lemon peel, cashous, sugar decorations, and candles.

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