Kulich, Paska, Kollix | Orthodox Easter Bread
There are many recipes of Eastern European bread (aka kulich). For a long, time my favorite was classic Pohlebkin’s recipe with elaborate method of making the dough and a long list of ingredients. few years ago, I tried making korovai for the fist time, and its decorative beauty, magic aromas, and light texture made it number one for me. I experimented with quite a few kulich recipes, and yet, every season there is another one to intrigue me.
Sweet Bread Dough with Cheese
Since the kefir culture started living in my kitchen, I have fresh kefir products (drinking, strained, and soft cheese) in my fridge all the time. When they are handy, I find more amazing culinary uses for them all the time. The moment I saw a kulich recipe where farmer’s cheese was an ingredient to add to the dough, I knew I have to try it with my kefir cheese. I also wanted to try an idea I saw a few time online (don’t know who the author is) for forming this Easter bread as a flower, sunflower or daisy. The result is amazing! There is a faint hint of cheese. The texture is so creamy, a comparison to Japanese Souflee Cheesecake came to my mind. It is still a sponge, but the sensation of crumb melting in your mouth is incredible. I added chopped hazelnuts, but won’t do that the next time. Only soft dry fruit like golden raisins is what we need here.
This recipe is honed for a specific moisture content of fresh cheese. The recipe and proportions are described in my Syrniki posting. If you don’t make fresh cheese at home, the amount of milk in this recipe will need to be adjusted. Note that the Saf instant yeast used in this recipe doesn’t require any steps prior to the adding it to the dough. If you need to replace it with fresh yeast, multiply the recipe amount three times (7g dry yeast equals 21g fresh yeast). If using other commercial instant yeasts, follow the instructions on the package.