It seems like almost every region of the world celebrating Easter has its own version of Brioche. Paska is tradional in Eastern Europe but also along Mennonites.
I learned to make Paska when working at a Cafe, where the owner and her family had been making this recipe traditionally, every year, and we served it all Easter week long, for the delight of the Cafe’s patrons!
It is a light and fluffy brioche with fragrances of citrus. Best enjoyed the day it is baked, but can easily be frozen for later. I love making little ones to gift around. The recipe is pretty large, but it is meant to be shared!
For the icing, the one offered here is a great addition to the recipe, but you can opt for something as easy as a simple icing made of water and icing sugar if you prefer.
Bon appetit and Happy Easter!
Traditional Brioche recipe for Easter from Eastern Europe
2 Tbsp Dry active yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 1 & 1/4 cup warm milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
7 cups flour
- 1 cup butter soft
- 4 pasteurized egg whites see notes below
2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups icing sugar
- Take your citrus and peel it very thin. You don't want to use any of the white parts of the peel. Put the thinly sliced peel in the blender. Juice your lemon and orange, removing all the seeds. Add the juice to the blender.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and milk until the butter melts. Once it is melted add it to the blender. Start the blender and puree for a couple of minutes.
- Add the eggs, sugar, and salt to the blender. Continue to run the blender for another minute or two until very smooth. Measure the milk/citrus and sugar mixture it should be about 4 1/2 cups. If you have a bit more or less that is fine, you may just need to adjust the flour.
- Pour the mixture, along with the yeast mixture into a large bowl, or the bowl of your kitchen machine, which has a dough hook.
- Add flour one cup at a time and mix, by hand or with your dough hook, until you have a smooth soft dough it will be sticky. Knead for a total of 7-8 minutes. You can add a little more than 7 cups, but your dough should still feel a bit sticky at the end.
- Place in a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap and let rise until it doubles for about an hour. At this point, give it a bit of a punch down and let rest at least 10 minutes or up to another hour.
- During this time prepare your pans. I spray mine with cooking spray. Shape your loaves and let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour to an hour and a half. You can make 4 loaves or use smaller molds to make individual Paskas. For the look on the picture, use empty clean tin cans!
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. If you have a convection oven, set it at 325 F. Bake the loaves approximately 20 – 30 minutes depending on the size of your pans.
- Gently remove from pans and place on cooling racks. Once they are completely cool, put them in the freezer unless you are eating them the same day.
- Beat all ingredients together with an electric mixer until light and smooth….and spread on each loaves or slice of Paska. You can add cirtus to your icing, and sprinkles for decor.
- *pasteurized eggs: get egg white in cartons if you will be serving to pregnant women or compromised guests. If using non pasteurized eggs, enjoy within 24 hours. You can also make a simple icing with just water and icing sugar instead.