Monday, 9 December 2013

Eggless Slovak Paska Bread

Thanks to Eggless Baking which is brain child of Gaytari and to Yeast spotting we had to bake Eggless Slovak Paska Bread or Paska Peep. This bread is Easter Special bread which takes many decorative shapes and forms and one of such bread is Paska Bread, traditionally this bread is made with egg and butter but we our group try to make eggless version of this bread. The original recipe makes 3 loaves but have reduced the recipe by 1/4th and it makes 1 5" round and couple of peeps. So lets make the bread

Recipe Source : Eastern European Food

Preparation time : 2 hrs to 3 hrs
Cooking time : 40 mins
Yields : 1 round loaf of 7" and 2 peeps
Difficulty level : Medium

Ingredients : 
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup luke warm water
1/4 tsp salt
85 gm / 3/4 cup butter
2 tbsp curd
13/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 - 3 cups of flour
Milk + Butter for Brushing
2 tbsp oil for coating

Other things required : 
Bread Machine (Optional)
Measuring cups and spoon
Cake pan / Round ring
Aluminum foil
Bowl and kitchen towel or cling flim

Method : 
  • Heat milk, butter, salt and sugar in pan till butter melts. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Sift baking soda and flour.
  • Dissolve yeast in luke warm water and sprinkle 1/3 tbsp sugar on top and let it proof for 5 mins or till frothy.

If using bread machine:
  • In an bread pan fit the kneader hook. Pour in milk mix. yeast water and curd. Add in 2 cups of flour ensuring it covers corners.
  • Insert and lock the bread pan into bread machine. Select dough cycle and Press start. After 10 mins or 15 mins check if the dough looks sticky add in half cup of flour. 
  • After the cycle is complete remove from machine.
  • Divide dough into three parts.

If kneading with hand:
  • In an big bowl add 2 cups of flour, make a well pour in milk mix, frothed yeast mix and curd.
  • Knead the dough, at intial point it would be very sticky, add flour little by little till you get nice elastic dough and has stopped sticking.
  • Place in bowl smear with oil and cover with cling and let it proof till double or for 1 hr.
For making bread:
  • Divide the dough into 3 parts. Make round loaf of each part.
  • Place one round loaf in the centre of greased pan.
  • Make the braid from the rest dough, reserving little for decoration and place around the loaf.
  • Decorate the loaf with cross or Easter decoration i.e. leaf or cross.
  • Cover and let it proof for 1 hr.
  • Brush butter and milk mix very gently on the loaf.
  • Bake in preheat oven for 40 to 45 mins at 180 c/ 350 F or till golden.
  • Immediately remove from oven and transfer on the wire rack to cool. 

For making peeps:
  • Roll out the dough into rope of about 12", tie a knot from one end keeping 1/2" outside for beak and around 2 - 3" for tail
  • Insert two cloves on either side of beak, make three slits at the other end of the rope this will be tail.
  • Place in greased baking tray and allow to proof. Brush with butter n milk mix.
  • Bake at 180 c for 30 mins or till golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool on wire rack.

  • The amount of flour varies on the quality of the flour. It took around 3 cups for me.
  • To check the temp of water if you place a drop of water on your palm it should feel just hot.
  • If using rapid yeast use only 11/4 tsp of yeast or else you will end up with after taste of yeast.
  • Proofing time may vary depending on the weather. If it is cold weather place your dough in pressure cooker this will help to proof properly.
  • After placing the bread, throw couple of ice cubes on the bottom of pan. This will help to form nice crust.
Bread tasted yummy and i enjoyed it with cream cheese.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Please take a minute to share views and valuable comments. Regards, 
Briju Parthasarathy

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