Paska (Easter Bread)

(20 servings)

  • 8 cups flour (maybe more)*
  • 8 medium eggs - separated
  • 2 and 1/2 cups milk - room temperature
  • 1 large potato (peeled and chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter - softened
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • a little extra flour to work with (about 1/4 cup)
This recipe makes 7 loaves.

Boil the potato pieces until tender. Drain (but save 3/4 cup of the water). Mash the potato to a slightly lumpy consistency.

Soften the yeast in 3/4 cup lukewarm potato water for 10 minutes. Add a bit of flour to make a soft sponge.

In a large bowl combine flour with the milk and beat until smooth. Allow to set for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with 1/2 of the sugar. Add this to the flour mixture.

Add beaten egg whites and the yeast mixture to the flour mixture.

Cover and let rise until light.

Add butter, salt, remaining sugar, orange zest, lemon juice and mashed potato to the dough. Add enough extra flour to give the dough a medium-soft consistency. Knead for 10 minutes.

Cover and let rise to double its bulk. Seperate the dough into 8 equal sections. Shape 7 sections into oval loaves. With the remaining section, create decorative braid patterns and place them on top of the other loaves. Cover and let rise again.

Bake on well greased cookie sheets at 325 degrees until golden (about 40 minutes).

The amount of flour in this recipe has been called into question (Thanks Laura K.). As originally submitted, the recipe called for 2 cups. But... and perhaps ironic... only Jesus could make 7 loaves of bread with 2 cups of flour. We are attempting to contact the recipe submitter. If you've made this recipe with success, please leave a comment below and let us know what you did.

Fun Fact:
In the Ukraine, you would take your Paska to church on Easter morning to have it blessed by the priest.

Paska is a traditional Russian-Mennonite sweet bread. It has a rich flavor and a decorative look with the top layer normally shaped into a cross.

Mr Breakfast would like to thank KennyRogers for this recipe.

Recipe number 1224. Submitted 4/7/2004.