With Easter, the fasting period is over and people celebrate this with tasty food: (chocolate) eggs, lamb, … This tradition also exists in the Eastern European countries with a Christian tradition. This Paska – Slovak Easter bread is not only a tradition for Slovakia. But also in neighbouring countries like Poland and Ukraine. But my best colleague is coming from Slovakia. That country definitely deserves some more marketing. therefore I prefer to put it a bit more in the picture.
Paska – Slovak Easter bread
for the bread
- 600 gram plain flour
- 9 gram dry yeast
- 50 gram sugar
- 50 gram butter on room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 200 ml milk
- 100 ml water
- 50 gram cranberries dried
- 100 gram raisins dried
- 1 orange
for the topping
- 1 egg
- icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- Press the orange and let the raisins and the cranberries soak in the orange juice. Also add some cinnamon to it.
- Heat the milk until lukewarm, and then add the yeast to it.
- Mix all the ingredients for the dough: the flour, the sugar, some cinnamon, butter, eggs, water and the milk with the yeast. Knead thoroughly until the dough is not sticking anymore. Then cover it and let it rise for about 45 minutes, until it approximately doubled in size.
- Remove the cranberries and the raisins from the orange juice and press out the liquid.
- Grease a mold for a loaf or a cake.
- Transfer the dough on a floured surface. Mix it with the raisins and the cranberries and knead it well.
- Transfer the dough to the mold and let it rise again for 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C shortly before the rising process is ready.
- Mix the egg with some icing sugar and one tablespoon of the orange juice.
- Brush the top of the dough with the topping and put it in the oven.
- Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown.
You can even optically improve this Paska by putting some dough aside and by making a wreath or braid to top it. I did not do this because my handwork still has a lot of room for improvement.
You can also make the Paska without raisins. In that case it is very comparable to the French brioche. the cranberries are definitely not part of the standard recipes. But I had some leftovers from a previous recipe: gnocchi with cranberry sauce. I figured the cranberries could give it a very special and surprising touch.
Another great Slovakian recipe on surprising.recipes is poultry liver with potato pancakes (zemiakové lokše). I had this on a business trip to Bratislava and was so inspired that I made it back at home.
Last year I made a delicious Biscoff-pear pie. This is an absolute favourite among family, friends and visitors of surprising.recipes. Although I consider this as a Belgian specialty (Lotus Biscoff cookies are Belgian) I found the inspiration on a Slovak blog: Blondie-ish at kitchen.
Different kinds of Easter bread are made in different regions of the world. Tasteatlas has a nice graphic overview of the different variations in different parts of the world.
If you speak Dutch, you can find the Dutch version of this recipe on gerechtenweb.blog.