Paska (Easter Bread)

Paska (Easter Bread)


Easter = Paska bread or should I say Paska bread = Easter? for me the two are inextricably connected.  Growing up with half of my family coming from a Mennonite background, Easter always included Paska… Paska is the sweet citrus filled enriched bread that you see above.  It is always served during this week of the year, and as a result, the aroma and taste of this bread has a nostalgic effect on me.  I remember enjoying this bread as a kid during the family reunions we had at Easter time.  Easter was one of the few times of the year that we had the chance to see my Dad’s extended family, and my Grandma or my Aunts always prepared the most delicious Paska.

I made Paska myself for the first time just a few years ago, and now that I have, it just wouldn’t feel right to let Easter pass by without making a batch.  Previously, I have made this recipe into loaves, free formed buns, and placed the dough in muffin tins for Paska muffins and they have all turned out wonderfully.  This year however, seeing as Paska is like the Mennonite version of Brioche (and I have to say – a better version), and I just happened to have recently scored an incredible deal on a full set of Brioche molds, I let the Paska rise in these metal tins that are designed to create the ridged edges that are typical of Brioche buns.  What we end up with are Paska buns that look like Brioche yet taste like Paska, and all that is left to do once they are baked and cooled is to cover them with cream cheese frosting, add some sprinkles, and Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Mennonite Girls can Cook by Lovella

Ingredients / Ingredientes

  • 2 tbsp yeast / cucharadas de levadura
  • 1 cup warm water / taza de agua tibia
  • 1 tsp sugar / cucharillas de azúcar
  • 1 orange / naranja
  • 1 lemon / limón
  • 1 1/4 cup milk  / taza de leche
  • 1/2 cup butter / taza de mantequilla
  • 2 eggs / huevos
  • 3/4 cup sugar / taza de azúcar
  • 1 tsp salt / cucharilla de sal
  • * 7 cups of flour / tazas de harina

* This recipe will require approximately 7 cups of flour (potentially up to 1/2 cup more).  When adding flour after the initial 7 cups, add little by little and keep the dough on the sticky side / Esta receta va a usar aproximadamente 7 tazas de harina (y tal vez media taza más) Despues de las primeras 7 tazas, agregar poco a poco, no olvides de mantener la masa pegajosa.

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, warm water and sugar and set aside until foamy, while you prepare the orange and lemon.  / En un recipiente mezclar juntos el agua, la levadura y el azúcar, dejar a un lado hasta que se vuelva espumoso.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off of the orange and the lemon.  If the underside of the skin has a lot of white, use a sharp knife to carefully slice it off of the skin.  Place the orange and lemon peel in a blender / Usando un pelador de verduras pelar las cáscaras de la naranja y del limón. Las cáscaras no deben tener nada blanco ya que esto tornará todo amargo. Agregar todo esto a la licuadora.
  • Remove as much of the white rind as possible from the orange and lemon and chop the lemon and orange enough to remove the seeds.  Add the lemon and orange to the blender as well. / Cortar el limón y naranja en pedazos (sin nada blanco) y remover las semillas. Agregar todo eso a la licuadora junto a las cáscaras.
  • Heat the butter and milk in a saucepan until the butter is completely melted, then add to the blender as well / Calentar la leche con la matequilla en una olla hasta que todo este derretido, agregar a la licuadora también.

Citrus, milk, butter

  • Blend the citrus, milk, butter mixture on high for a couple minutes, or until the mixture is smooth.  Depending on your blender this may take 30 seconds or several minutes / Licuar hasta que todo este triturado y suave, puede tardar algunos minutos.
  • Add the eggs, sugar and salt to the blender and blend once again until the mixture is smooth and everything is incorporated together. / Agregar los huevos, azúcar y sal a la licuadora y licuar hasta que todo este mezclado.
  • Pour the mixture out into the bowl of a stand mixer and measure as you go, so that you have an idea of how much liquid you have – it should be 4 1/2 cups – possibly a little more or less.  / Agregar la mezcla al contenedor de una batidora de pie. La mezcla  debe ser entre  4 1/2 tazas de líquido.
  • Add the proofed yeast to the bowl as well / Agregar la levadura y agua al recipiente.
  • Attach a dough hook to the mixer and on low speed begin to mix adding one cup of flour at a time until the previous one has been completely incorporated / Adjuntar un gancho para masa a la batidora,  y en baja velocidad y empezar a mezclar añadiendo una taza de harina primeramente y esperar hasta que todo este incorporado y luego agregar otra taza de harina. En esta receta usé 7 tazas de harina.

Paska dough

  • Once all the flour has been incorporated, continue to mix for 8-10 minutes.  If the dough is still sticky but holds its shape then it is done.  This batch the dough was still a bit too sticky after adding the initial 7 cups and so I kneaded it by hand on the counter using about 1/2 cup more flour until the dough was able to hold its shape but still remained quite sticky  / Cuando todas las tazas estén incorporadas, tienes que dejar la máquina mezclando todo por 8 a 10 minutos más. Si la masa aún sigue muy pegajosa agregar más harina poco a poco y amasar la masa con las manos hasta que quede menos pegajosa. Yo usé 1/2 taza más de harina.
  • Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel and set side until it has doubled – about an hour and a half / Poner la masa sobre un recipiende y cubir, dejar a un lado hasta que la masa crezca el doble (como una hora y media).
  • After the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down, allowing the gas to escape, and set aside for another 10 minutes while you prepare the pans for baking the Paska / Después de esto con el puño golpear la masa una vez y dejar a un lado por 10 minutos, esto hará que el gas de la masa salga.
  • Spray either loaf pans, muffin tins, baking sheets, or as we have here brioche molds with non stick spray and then separate the dough into pieces, and place them in your desired mold, or pan.  Keep in mind the size of the dough that you place in your mold will double as it rises and rise a little more while baking / Colocar aceite o un spray antiadherente en los recipientes que vas a usar para hornear la masa. Colocar la masa de la Paska en los contenedores, tienes que tener en cuenta que la masa crecera el doble.

Paska dough rising

  • Allow the prepared loaves or buns to rise for another hour to an hour and a half, until they have doubled in size, then bake in a 350 degree F oven for approximately 20 minutes / En los recipientes dejar la masa por 30  minutos para que sigan creciendo luego meterlos al horno de 350 grados y hornearlos por 20 minutos
  • Once the buns are completely cool, ice with frosting and serve or place the buns in freezer bags and freeze for another day / Después de que  las masitas de Paska esten frías agregar la crema o glaseado. También puedes ponerlos en plástico y colocarlos a la nevera para otro día.

Cream cheese frosting / El glaseado de crema de queso

  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese (softened) / Paquete de 8 onzas de crema de queso
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened) / taza de mantequilla (blanda)
  • 1 tsp vanilla / cucharilla de vainilla
  • Icing sugar – about 3 cups / 3 tazas de azúcar impalpable o en polvo

In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and begin to add icing sugar – sifting into the bowl 1/3 cup at a time, and mixing to incorporate fully, continuing until the desired consistency is reached.  A soft icing that can just hold its shape is ideal / En una batidora mezclar la crema de queso y la mantequilla hasta que estén bien incorporadas. Agregar la vainilla y la azúcar colada en 1/3 tazas hasta que incorpores las 3 tazas. Mezlcar hasta lograr la consistencia perfecta, ni tan suave ni tampoco tan dura.

Paska... Provecho!