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By Natalie Gorsuch
Williamsburg Correspondent 

From the 'Burg to Your Kitchen

Paska Easter Bread

Series: Williamsburg | Story 56

It’s hard to believe that it’s Easter – it sure doesn’t feel like it.

For many Easters, I was blessed to have a wonderful lady in my family’s life, my dear Aunt Annie Bauer. We were raised in the Orthodox religion and one of the special events in the religion is Easter.

I remember many Easters when we had to get up at 5:30 a.m., get dolled up and head to church where now the River Valley Custom Apparel shop is in Williamsburg.

We would prepare our special baskets and leave them out in the church backyard and await the special church service. I was so privileged to be one of the parts of the service by carrying the picture of Jesus during our three times around the church. I always felt so important. Later on in the service, the priest would go out as we stood proudly beside our baskets and bless them.

The best part of Easter Sunday, however, was when we got to go home and tear into our Easter baskets – with the candy of course, but also this special Easter bread – paska.

My mother used to make this special bread, but when Aunt Annie found out I was such a fan, she would always save a loaf and bring it to me.

Aunt Annie has since passed away, but I have those special memories to have for a lifetime.

For this week’s special recipe, I have included a Paska recipe, in hopes to inspire memories for you and your family this Easter weekend.

From my family to yours, Happy Easter!

Paska Easter Bread


1-1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar (plus 1/2 tsp)

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1 package active dry yeast

7-1/2 cups flour, divided

3 large eggs

1/3 cup butter (melted)

1-1/2 tsp. salt

Egg Wash:

1 large egg


Scald the milk and set aside to cool to lukewarm. Dissolve 1/2 tsp. sugar in the water and sprinkle yeast over it. Mix and let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine yeast mixture with cooled scalded milk and 2-1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Cover and let rise until light and bubbly.

Add eggs, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and 4-1/2 or 5 cups of flour to make a dough that isn’t too stiff.

Knead until dough no longer sticks to the hand and is smooth and satiny – about seven minutes in the mixer.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turn to grease both sides, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again.

Reserve 1/3 of the dough for decorating. Shape the rest into a round loaf and place in a 10- to 12-inch greased round pan. Now shape the reserve into a cross, or the more popular braid and arrange on top of the dough.

Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and again let rise until doubled.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. and brush bread with 1 large egg, beaten with 2 Tbsp. water. Bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce temperature to 350 F. and bake for another 40 minutes. If necessary, cover top of bread with aluminum foil to prevent over browning.

Remove from oven and turn out onto a wire cooling rack.


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