Slovak Easter Paska Bread
This recipe for Slovak Easter bread or paska is an eggy, yeast-raised round bread. The dough also can be used to make chick-shaped bread rolls.
- Serves: 30 persons
- 2cups milk
- ½cup sugar
- 2teaspoons salt
- 12ounces butter (3 sticks)
- 3(1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1tablespoon sugar
- 1cup warm water (no hotter than 110 F)
- 3large eggs (room-temperature)
- 8cups all-purpose flour (divided)
- 1cup milk (or 1 beaten egg yolk, to wash the dough)
Step 1Gather the ingredients.
Step 2Grease 3 (7 x 3-inch) round bread pans and set aside.
Step 3In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and butter over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm (no hotter than 110 F) and set aside.
Step 4Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water placed in a mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl that has been warmed. Let proof for 5 minutes.
Step 5Add eggs, reserved milk mixture, and 4 1/2 cups of the flour. With the dough hook attachment, mix on speed 2 for 1 minute.
Step 6Continue mixing on speed 2, and add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix about 2 minutes or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of the bowl.
Step 7Continue mixing 2 minutes longer or until dough is smooth and elastic. It will be sticky to the touch.
Step 8Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 to 2 hours or until doubled.
Step 9Punch down dough and divide into thirds, reserving a small piece of dough from each to make decorations.
Step 10Shape each third piece of dough into a round loaf in the prepared pans. Using reserved dough, decorate with a cross in center or braids around the edge.
Step 11Cover and let rise in warm place 1 to 2 hours or until doubled.
Step 12Pre heat oven to 350 F. Gently brush tops of risen dough with milk or beaten egg yolk.
Step 13Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F.
Step 14Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire rack.
Step 15Serve during your Easter dinner and enjoy!