More Paska

As usual, when I do something I like, I get caught up in it.  As you can see, I am really having fun baking Paska.  Since the ones I made with crosses exploded, I tried a different design and I like this recipe much better.  Here are the ingredients:

1 C. milk
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. yeast
2 1/4 t. rapid rise yeast
 1/2 C. butter, melted
 5 large eggs (+ 1 yolk for the egg wash)
3/4 C. sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
  1/2 t. ground cardamom
zest from 1 orange
6 C. all purpose flour + 1/2 C. for kneading
Heat the milk until warm. Add the 1 T. sugar and the yeast and sit it aside for a few minutes.

Add the milk to your mixer then add the eggs and the yeast. Add the melted butter.

Add the cardamom.

Add the zest, vanilla and the rest of the sugar and beat until blended.  Gradually add the flour until you have a smooth slightly sticky dough.

Turn it into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic and put it in a warm place to proof for 3-4 hours.

Punch it down and turn it out onto your counter top.

Divide it into three pieces.

Divide each piece into three equal pieces and roll the 3 pieces into long ropes.

Braid the ropes together.

Tuck the ends under the rope.

Wind the braid around in a circle.

Repeat with the other two main pieces.  Place on a parchment covered cookie sheet.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour.

Poofy after the rise!
Beat 1 egg yoke with a scant teaspoon of water.

Brush each loaf with the egg yolk.  Bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes until golden with an internal temp of 190 degrees.

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Pretty, no?

These are flaky and buttery and yeasty.

And right now I have a new recipe of them rising!


Connie said…
I walked into the computer room and smelled bread baking . . . so, I had to come visiting, LOL. These are so pretty and I know that they taste even better than they smell. If that is at all possible :)
Have a yummy weekend.
Your blogging sister, Connie :)
Mary Ann said…
Okay, even I could make these! There's a project for two weeks down the road, once we are moved!
I can smell them baking. They look divine.
Suzanne said…
It is simply beautiful! I might try making it for my husbands birthday Monday.

Thank you so much for sharing
Anonymous said…
They look so fine! I bet they taste just as good as they look and I love cardamom :-)

I'm not good with braids :-) They always start out fine but something alöways happen on the way :-)

Have a great day!
Patty Woodland said…
I'll have to get the hubby to buy me some oranges. You really have me missing the Easters of my childhood
Ellen in Oregon said…
Do you think the loaves with the crosses that exploded were a sign (teehee)? The braided version is almost too beautiful to eat -almost. I love the combination of orange zest & cardamom. These are on my baking list for this weekend. I am going to make this my baking project for this weekend. Great tutorial, by the way.
Have you ever seen Paska with colored eggs baked into the top of the bread? I remember seeing those as a kid & can't remember if they were Polish or maybe an Italian tradition.
Megs said…
What beautiful, braided breads!
I love Pensky spices.
Guillaume said…
I'd love to have something like this for breakfast tomorrow, with some tea.
Barb said…
They are pretty and look delicious!
They are absolutely gorgeous. I love the braid and how nicely brown they are.
luckybunny said…
These are gorgeous and I'm in love with cardamom.
Susan Griggs said…
I have NEVER felt the urge to make bread from scratch. Quick breads I can do. That and anything I can throw in my bread machine and forget it. But for something like Paska there's just too much "add this, knead that, proof this" - bah! I haven't got the patience ;) Then something miraculous happened 2 days ago. I saw this post, printed out the recipe and steps and set out to make it. I didn't have milk so I used 1/2 cup Half & Half and warm water, I had to pray that my yeast was still viable, and no orange zest but I had a bowl of lemons! My mixer is a sad excuse for a kitchen implement :\ so for the heavy mixing (once I got about half the flour incorporated) I went old school and used my hands. I was super excited when I got to the "Punch it down" step to see that my yeast was indeed viable. And as I said, I've never gotten this far before. I punched, I divided, I braided, I rolled and I waited. I'm so proud of myself LOL A quick eggwash and into he oven they went. Afterwards we got three beautiful loaves of Paska that looked just like the ones in the photos :D Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For the recipe and for showing me that all these years I had made the process out to be more difficult than it really is. In fact, it was fun and I can't wait to do it again!
I made this recipe yesterday. Shared one of the loaves with our neighbor. These are delicious and well worth the time it takes. Next time I make these I will drizzle a light icing over them. Thank you for sharing!