Free Catholic Recipe - Traditional Ukrainian Easter Bread with Braiding Instructions

Today is Easter according to the Julian Calendar; followed by many Orthodox Christians and Eastern rite Catholics; especially in Ukraine. In any case, Easter, in both calendars lasts 50 days. So, there is still time to make Easter bread - here is a recipe for Ukrainian Easter bread:

2 cakes yeast
2 C scalded milk
4 eggs, beaten
1 C sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 melted butter
8 C flour
1 C white raisins - optional
1- Dissolve yeast in milk, which has been scaled but cooled to lukewarm.
2- Add 3 cups flour and 1/2cup sugar.
3- Mix, cover, and let rise in a warm place, until double in bulk and bubbly; about 2 hours (that will vary depending on the area & warmth your dough is in).
4- Then add the rest of flour, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, raisins (use enough flour to make a light dough).
5- Knead well.
6- Allow the dough to rise again, while covered, in a warm place till double in bulk.
7- Turn out onto the board or table to knead again adding enough flour to make a medium dough. (more flour may have to be used)
8- Reserve a small piece of dough, enough to make your braids to go around the bread or for a cross in the center of the bread or both.
9- Shape into 2 round loaves, place in round pudding pans (or round baking dishes or coffee tins).
10- To make braids; roll the dough out between your hands long enough to make long stands - a bit thinner than a pencil, this too will rise when baked.
11- Then braid equal pieces of dough, like you would if you were braiding a little girl's pigtails. This takes some practice but well worth the time and effort. We place a three-bar cross on our breads, with the braid encircling the bread. If you don't have time to braid just use a straight rolled out piece of dough to form the cross in the center of the bread.
12- Let the dough rise for the last time, until double in bulk.
13- Next, gently brush top of loaves with beaten egg.
14- Bake 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.
15- Brush bread with butter when removed from oven to keep the tops of the breads soft.

1 Tsp. Sugar 6 Eggs, well beaten
1 C. Sugar
1 C. lukewarm water
1/2 C. Melted butter or oleo/margarine
1 Large cake yeast
3 C. Scalded milk
1 Tsp. Sugar
9-12 C. Flour To these ingredients always add 1/4 cup oil & 1/2 cup
extra sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup white raisins
2 extra eggs and a lot of love.
Always bless your bread with the Sign of the Cross, praying
constantly asking God's blessings upon your labor.
Dissolve sugar in lukewarm water and sprikle yeast over it. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Combine luke-warm milk, eggs, salt, sugar, and melted butter in large kettle (add 1/4 c. oil, 1/2 c. more sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla), then add yeast mixture. Add 1 c. cooked cooled, drained raisins if desired. Add flour, a little at a time, kneading well after each addition until a soft dough is formed and the dough comes off your hands.
Cover, let rise in warm place until double in bulk.
Cut into 5 or 6 peices (reserving some dough to braid for the top of your loaf) knead, and shape into round loaves. I use round corning baking dishes, some folks even use coffee cans, some just shape them into balls and let them rise that way.
Let them rise again( this is the second time).
While the loaves are rising, take bits of dough and rolling it between your hands till you make 3 long ropes. Then take the ropes of dough and braid them together like you would a little girls pig tails.
Cut the ropes so you have enough to form a cross on top. I make a three bar cross in the center. I also have enough braid to circle the
top of the bread.
Brush the bread and braids with a beaten egg. Bake in a 350
degree oven for 35 - 40 minutes on the middle rack, which allows enough room
for you to get the bread easily out of the oven and not injure the braids.
Brush with butter when removing from oven, this will keep the top of your breads soft.

I am pretty sure there is a better recipe for this, it is just the way I started doing it, when asked if I could make them...
1- Use this same recipe as above, following all the directions except the preparation for the pans.
2-After the second rise and your dough is now ready for the third rise, divide your dough into six pieces.
3- Make your pieces long, but the same length, and not thin.
4- Then braid the three pieces, so you have two breads.
5- Place on baking sheet.
6- Let raise until double in bulk.
7- While waiting for it to rise die an uncooked room tempature egg in red dye, dry it.
8- Place the red egg in the center of the bread to be baked. (it will cook as the bread bakes)
9- Brush the bread with beaten egg, but not the red egg.
10- When you remove it from the oven, brush with butter.
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