This is an ethnic treat. Pashka means Easter in Russian and it used to describe both the bread and sweet cheese that is an Easter tradition.
You can use your bread machine for the dough cycle so it is pretty simple to make. Please note that the true ethnic presentation is a loaf cooked in a tall cylinder - like a coffee or tomato juice can.
It is served with Pashka cheese, a spread that uses farmers cheese mixed with sugar, almonds, dried fruit and is drained overnight.
I used to work for the Internation Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal. It is a United Nations specialized agency whose purpose is to promote adherence to the Chicago convention of aviation safety standards and norms. In layman's terms they work to ensure that airline practices in all 191 member states adhere to global norms. Training of airport staff, equipment, air traffic control practices should all be the same anywhere you fly so you can land and take off just as safely in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America or anywhere in the world. A lot of that is accomplished by the UN sending in staff and trainers from developed nations to train other less developed nations. In a perfect world - the programme runs its course and at the end the developing nation is proficient and self sufficient in meeting global aviation standards.
Our immediate team did indeed reflect the United Nations - Egyptian, Canadian, Belgian, Australian and Russian. And that was just in a 10 desk radius! The rest of the building reflected all the member states!
All this to say- the first time I had Pashka my co-worker of Russian extraction brought it in for an office treat. I had never seen or even heard of it before. But I was hooked from the first bite!
Sweet but not too sweet, tender sweet pastry/bread... what's not to like!
I do make it occasionally but not in the quantities that the traditional recipes call for. For Russian, Ukranian, Serbian, Polish people this is an Easter staple and they make huge quantities. This will make one loaf or bundt pan worth.
Pashka Easter Bread
- ½ cup hot milk
- 1 egg room temperature
- 3 Tbsps sour cream
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- ⅓ cup sugar rounded
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon bread machine yeast
- ½ cup dried fruit, diced raisins, apricots
- Mix the hot milk, sour cream, melted butter, vanilla and sour cream together ina cup.
- Sift the flour, and sugar together and stir in the dried fruit.
- Add the ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended. Min is wet ingredients, dry and top with yeast. Make sure the yeast doesn't touch the liquid.
- Set it to dough cycle and let it work through.
- Spray a loaf or bundt pan. When the dough cycle is complete flour your hands and remove dough from the bread machine. Turn it over a few times with a bit of dough just enough to remove the stickiness.
- Position dough in your baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Allow to rise in a warm room for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Baked 30 minutes. If the top is getting too brown cover loosely with foil and finish cooking. Test with a skewer for doneness- it should come out clean.
- When done, remove from oven, allow to cool about 15 minutes and remove from the pan.
- Serve with Pashka cheese.