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Kulich (Russian Easter Cake)

Kulich (Russian Easter Cake)

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babylee

These cakes are traditionally cooked and eaten at Russian Orthodox Easter to break the fast. Often accompanied by pashka, a sweet, fruity cheese. These do take a little bit of effort, but it is definitely worth it. They are similar to panettone. Total time includes rising times of 3.5 hours.

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 16 servings

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Nutrition

Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 356 kcal
  • 18%
  • Fat:
  • 9.2 g
  • 14%
  • Carbs:
  • 62.8g
  • 20%
  • Protein:
  • 6.3 g
  • 13%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 56 mg
  • 19%
  • Sodium:
  • 63 mg
  • 3%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Directions

  1. Place golden raisins into a bowl, drizzle with vodka, and allow raisins to soften overnight.
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon sugar into lukewarm water in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Stir yeast into the water and let stand until the yeast mixture is frothy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until very warm but not simmering. Stir in saffron threads and cardamom, remove from heat, and let the milk mixture stand until lukewarm.
  4. Transfer yeast mixture into a large mixing bowl. Stir milk mixture, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 cup flour into the yeast mixture, beating until the batter is smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  5. Mix melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, orange blossom honey, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt together in a bowl. Beat butter mixture into the batter, then beat in eggs and egg yolk.
  6. Mix 2 1/2 cups of flour into the dough. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup flour onto a work surface and knead dough until it holds together, about 5 minutes; knead soaked golden raisins and 1/2 cup almonds into the dough until well distributed.
  7. Form dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl; turn dough around in the bowl several times to coat outside of dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Punch down dough, knead a few times, and divide dough into 4 pieces. Coat inside of clean 14-ounce cans with butter. Line cans with parchment paper. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, place into a can, and press dough lightly against the inside bottom of can.
  9. Cover cans with a cloth and allow dough to rise to the top of the cans, about 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  11. Place a baking sheet into the oven; place the cans of dough upright into oven on baking sheet. Bake until kulich are risen and lightly browned, 45 to 50 minutes.
  12. Let kulich cool in the cans for about 15 minutes before gently removing from cans to finish cooling on racks.
  13. Beat egg white in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy; beat in confectioners' sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Beat lemon juice into frosting.
  14. Frost the tops of the kulich and sprinkle tops with 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds. Refrigerate leftovers.
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Reviews

CELISEEV
6
4/30/2013

We are Russian and make Kulich every year to be blessed in our Easter basket on Pascha (this year on May 5, 2013). Usually making it is an all day, arduous process that is done on Great and Holy Saturday, and there's a much panic around "will it come out"? I made this recipe last night (a week early) and not only could I make it with ease, it didn't take all day! Additionally, it was WONDERFUL! It tastes and feels just like the more complicated versions. The only things that I thought were "off" were at step 6 and 8. I needed way more than 2 1/2 cups of flour. It was still more batter than dough until I added another cup (estimated). It was still very sticky when I turned it out to knead, so the kneading in step 6 added another 1/2 cup... All in all, I used 4 cups (which is what my more complicated recipes also calls for). Also, at step 8, I used a variety of can sizes and found that the narrower can produced a nice tall loaf with a "muffin top", which I like. But the shorter cans made the loaf look more authentic. I will say though, they were much smaller than I expected. Next time instead of 4 small loaves, I will do what I usually make, which are two loaves in 12-16 oz coffee tins.

NatashaE11
2
1/21/2013

This is most authentic recipe for a kulich, I am russian and my grandma did not use so many spices, just a vanilla and honey, but your addition certainly does not hurt it! Thank you for posting!

com
0
4/21/2014

I agree with Celiseev's comment - the flour requirements are very optimistic. Factor in one or two more cups. The recipe is really good, although different from my family's in sequencing and timing: much less arduous! It also leads to a much lighter kulich than we used to have, no bad thing in these days of too much chocolate. I would also double or triple the sultana/raisin amount, perhaps soaking them like I did in cognac, not vodka; and my family doesn't use an egg-white icing, just lemon juice and icing sugar mix. Thanks for the recipe!