Every year on Easter I’m coloring eggs and making kulichi. I love foodie traditions! 😀
Kulich is a traditional sweet bread that is usually baked in a tall cylindrical shape tins (similar to Italian panettone); kulichi are made from brioche dough with dried fruits or nuts added, and decorated with snow-white icing or it might be not topped at all.
During the Eater holiday in Russia people visit their relatives and friends and give each other colored eggs, various sweets and kulichi. One of the most amazing things about kulich that it stays fresh and soft pretty long: I suggest to make the double quantity of the dough and bake small-size kulichi, so you can take a couple pieces with you when visiting a friend. What can be better than such a nice, sweet and home-made gift, right? 🙂
This time I decided to add a touch of luxury to the kulich’s dough, so I added lots of aromatic spices (vanilla, cardamom, saffron), and used double fat milk and more egg yolks (compare to my regular recipe) to make the dough richer. Of course preparing the dough and making kulichi is a time consuming process but its absolutely worth it! The result is beautiful, flavorful and soft kulich!
Don’t forget to sprinkle the cake with colorful edible beads for the final touch!
Paskha is another traditional Easter dessert, where the main ingredient is tvorog (the farmer cheese). I absolutely love it and I wish I could it more often then once a year. 😀 Click here to get the recipe.
Russian Easter Cake (Kulich)
For one 15cm round tin.
I used large eggs. Egg for the glazing need to be very fresh.
The dough should be soft, but if needed add more flour.
370g plain flour
small pinch of salt
150ml double cream milk, warm
4 egg yolks + 1 egg yolk (for brushing)
80g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cardamom, crushed (use only seeds)
a pinch of saffron
75g butter, very soft but not melted
120g mixture of golden&dark raisins and dry fruits (orange, strawberry)
50-70g roasted silvered almonds, optional
1 egg white
150-160g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
- In a large mixing bowl, sift 100g of flour, add salt, yeast, warm milk and stir to combine. Cover with a wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, vanilla and sugar with hand or electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until pale. Add egg mixture and butter to the dough, mix to combine. Sift the remaining flour, add spices and mix just to combine.
- Transfer the dough to the working surface and knead to combine.
- Return the dough to the large bowl, cover again with wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash raisins, blot it up with paper towel. Sprinkle all dry fruits with a teaspoon of flour, it allows them to be evenly distributed throughout the dough. Mix fruits and nuts into the dough. Cover the dough with wet kitchen towel and let it rise for 60 minutes.
- Line the baking pan with baking paper, grease with butter. The dough should occupy 2/3 of the volume. Cover and let it rise for 20-30 minutes.
- Brush the kulich with egg yolk mixed with a spoon of water.
- Bake in preheated 100C oven for 10 minutes, then increase the heat to 180C and bake for 30 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into it gets back dry. If the top become too golden – cover kulich with a piece of foil or baking pepper.
- Take out of the oven, let it completely cool.
- For the icing, whisk egg white with few tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice until well combined. Or beat it with an electric mixer on a low speed. Gradually add more sugar and whisk again. Keep adding sugar until you gets the desired consistency (not too liquid).
- Spread the icing on top of each kulich with a tablespoon. Let it dry.
Cover kulich in the foil or plastic wrap and keep in the fridge up to 3-4 days.