This is Easter Bread. The recipe is similar to the one that my grandmother bakes. She called it Paska – Kulich in Ukrainian. This kulich is heavy, with a very rich taste.
Update photo 2011 Easter.
3 3/4 cups bread flour
12 1/2 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) melted butter
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1,5 – 2 tsp. dry yeast
1/2 cups raisins or currants
1 tbsp. cream of wheat
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
half lemon peel
1 tsp. cardamom or to taste
1/4 tsp. nutmeg or to taste
egg + 2 tablespoons milk for glaze
In small pot, cook milk and cream of wheat about 3-5 minutes, let stay about 10 minutes. Do not overcook. Add yeast in warm (not hot!) gruel (it’s mean a thinner version of hot cereal/porridge), cover and let rise in a warm place 1 hour. Beat the egg yolks with sugar, melted butter, salt, spices, combine with yeast mixture, flour and knead until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 3-5 minutes. Add currants, knead. Cover dough with a towel and leave in a warm place to rise. It can take several hours.
Coat two 2-pound coffee (or juice) cans with cooking spray. Punch down dough and knead a few times. Place it in the prepared cans in 1/3, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until double.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Glaze top of kulich with mixed egg and milk. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 35 to 40 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cover with foil if top become dark.
Remove kuliches from oven and let cool 10 minutes in the side. Unmold from cans and cool on a wire rack.