Russian Easter Bread with Ricotta – Kulich s Tvorogom

Kulich is very special bread, it’s part of the Russian Orthodox Easter vigil services. Traditionally, the bread are baked on Thursday before Easter (and eggs are dyed on Monday). On the Saturday before Easter, priests bless Easter food, like Kulich, Paskha and colorful eggs. We mixed the traditions and bake the bread on the Catholic Easter.
This is Kulich with ricotta or small curd fresh cheese, like farmer cheese, can stay fresh longer. It has creamy taste and great fragrance.
Happy Easter!

Russian Easter Bread with Ricotta – Kulich s Tvorogom

For two (or one, very high) kulich:

1/2 cup warm milk (I used almond unsweetened milk)
1 tsp. dry yeast (I used fresh yeast, about 15 gram)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup ricotta (I used fat free)
2 eggs in room temperature (I used liquid “better-n-eggs”, 4 oz.)
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup raisins + 1 tsp. rum for soaking
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sift after measured

Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small quantity of warm milk. As soon as the yeast mixture rises, add milk, eggs, ricotta,  salt and sugar, vanilla extract, cardamom, melted butter. Mix well. Then pour in flour and beat about 5 minutes more. Add soaked raisins, mix well.

Line the sides and bottom of juice or coffee can with greased parchment  paper, making sure for the paper is at least one and a half the height of the can. Divide dough and put in molds. Cover with a clean towel and leave to rise in the mold. Rising usually takes 2-3 hours, but if your yeast is fresh it’s ready in 1 hour.

Preheat oven in 350 F. Spray some water into oven side to make steam.

Carefully put cakes in oven and bake until light brown about 45 minutes. Don’t open the oven often. But if top of cakes is getting dark, cover it with foil to prevent from burning. Check the readiness with a wooden stick. If the stick is clean, the cake is ready.

Let the Kuliches cool a little in their molds, very carefully take them out and put on a wire rack on side (!) to completely cool.

Whole Kulich (without glaze) is about 2047 calories

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