June 14, 2024


Food never sleeps.

Recipes with Julie Van Rosendaal: Easter breads

6 min read


Every single holiday break comes with meals we associate with it and no other, and Easter is no exception. At this time of yr, warm cross buns get there in each bakery, and there are the sweet, prosperous, elaborately decorated breads so elementary to Ukrainian Easter celebrations.

This 7 days on the Calgary Eyeopener, we talked about Ukrainian paska (which translates to “Easter”) as very well as the many babkas and loaves. 

It’s a very similar dough utilized to make all of the higher than, furthermore warm cross buns and even the cinnamon buns that will be element of several Easter brunch plans. The dough is sweetened with sugar and enriched with butter and eggs. So I built a single dough recipe that can be termed into company for a broad vary of Easter breads.

Warm cross buns, babka, Paska and other Easter breads

This is a uncomplicated dough that is wonderfully easy and attractive to get the job done with. When you get the hold of it, you can turn it into buns (insert some cinnamon and raisins), paska and other Easter breads. 

This chocolate babka is created with a simple, clean dough. (Julie Van Rosendaal)


  • ¾ cup milk, warmed
  • 2 tsp energetic dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (furthermore about ¼ cup excess for sizzling cross buns)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional, for sizzling cross buns)
  • 1 substantial egg
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp fantastic salt
  • 1 cup raisins, currants or other dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, chopped apricots) for very hot cross buns or an unfilled babka or other loaf
  • ¼-½ cup chopped candied citrus peel (optional, for very hot cross buns or an unfilled babka or other loaf)

Set the warm milk into a substantial bowl and sprinkle above the yeast. Allow it sit for a several minutes to soften or dissolve, and if you happen to be apprehensive it may well not be energetic, increase a pinch of the sugar and enable it sit (without the need of disturbing it) for 10 minutes or so, right until it starts to get foamy. If it does not, you could want new yeast.

Babka with poppy seed filling for Easter. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

Increase the sugar, flour, cinnamon (if you might be earning scorching cross buns), egg, butter, vanilla and salt and stir till the dough comes together. You could do all this with the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer. Continue to knead, turning it out on to your countertop if you’re carrying out it by hand, right until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Perform in the dried fruit and candied citrus peel toward the stop — you just will not want to knead it also a lot and break up the fruit. Go over and let rest for an hour or so (it can sit for up to a couple hrs, you should not be concerned about timing it exactly). 

To bake loaves in cans: Divide the dough between greased cleaned-out cans. This quantity of dough is best for two 28 oz (796 ml) cans, like the ones tomatoes appear in, which I utilized in the image. Just goal to fill them fifty percent to 3-quarters with dough prior to permitting it increase.

I divide the dough into pieces and pull them into a restricted rectangular ball, like a potato. Usually with loaves or buns, you want to pull the surface limited, like a package.

Place into the cans, address and permit increase once more for an hour or two.

When you are prepared to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. If you like, brush the tops with some overwhelmed egg and/or milk or cream. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until finally domed and deep golden.

Loafs in a can. 1 of quite a few Easter breads you can make with one particular simple dough. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

To make sizzling cross buns: Divide the dough into 8-10 parts and form each and every into a ball, pulling the surface of the dough tight. Position on a parchment-lined baking sheet or into a buttered baking pan. Include with a tea towel and established apart for a different hour.

When you might be prepared to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Put the flour and drinking water into a modest ziplock bag and knead to make a clean paste. Snip off 1 corner and squeeze around the buns to make crosses.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until eventually deep golden.

In a tiny dish, soften the butter and honey and brush about the buns while they’re nonetheless incredibly warm.

To make sizzling cross buns, divide the dough into 8 to 10 parts and shape each individual 1 into a ball. (Julie Van Rosendaal )

For a coiled Ukrainian Easter bread:

I arrived throughout an ammonite-formed loaf on Olia Hercules’ web page. The dough is crammed and rolled, and the extensive roll is reduce in 50 %, much like the babka I’ve been generating for many years, prior to currently being curled into a huge snail-like coil.

I tried out the poppy seed filling, which is like a much more conventional makoviy rulet (poppy seed roll), but the dough could be crammed with other fillings as properly. I included a handful of choices I typically use when I make babka, one more Jap European sweet loaf that is also made with a sweet, buttery dough.

Olia’s poppy seed filling: 

  • 200 ml milk
  • 100 g poppy seeds
  • 100 g pecans or walnuts, frivolously toasted
  • 100 g sugar (white, brown or demerara)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 80 g butter
  • 1-2 apples, chopped

Chocolate Filling:

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 6 oz darkish or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa

Cinnamon Filling:

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey or syrup (corn, Roger’s, maple)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg, overwhelmed (for brushing)

To make Olia’s poppy seed filling: Merge the milk and poppy seed in a little saucepan and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The milk will get absorbed and evaporate as the seeds soften.

Great and blitz in a food processor with the other substances, then stir in the chopped apple. (A single if it can be significant, two if they are more compact. I failed to hassle peeling mine.)

To make the chocolate filling: In a smaller saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate in excess of medium-higher warmth, stirring till sleek. Eliminate from the heat and stir in the brown sugar and cocoa. The mixture will have the regularity of thick paste.

To make the cinnamon filling: In a tiny bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, honey or syrup and cinnamon. 

Roll the dough out into about a 12×16-inch rectangle and distribute with your filling of choice. Roll up commencing from a extended side, making a lengthy log. With a sharp or serrated knife, slash it in 50 percent lengthwise (I transform it so the seam is on the aspect, and I’m not chopping alongside it) and coil just one of them up like a snail on a parchment-lined baking sheet, twisting it to start with, if you like.

Continue the coil by introducing the 2nd 50 percent to the conclude of the very first, and tuck the conclude under the coil. You should have a major roll that seems to be like a snail. 

Cover with a tea towel or piece of plastic wrap and leave on the countertop for half an hour to an hour. When you happen to be completely ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F and brush the bread with some overwhelmed egg. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until eventually it is really really deep golden and feels sort of hollow and set. If it can be darkening much too rapidly, go over loosely with a piece of foil. Slide off the sheet onto a wire rack to cool.

Serves about 12.


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