This traditional Polish egg bread is wonderfully light with a slightly sweet flavor.

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Ingredients

18
Original recipe yields 18 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Sponge:
For the Dough:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl until slightly frothy.

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  • In the meantime, dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in the warm milk; allow to cool to lukewarm. Once cooled, add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture along with 4 cups of flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Cover and put in a dark, warm place until the mixture is bubbly and doubled in size, about 2 hours.

  • Stir in the beaten eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup butter, salt, and lemon peel. Stir well to blend. Begin adding the remaining flour a cup at a time to form a very soft dough.

  • Knead the dough on a floured board until soft and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.

  • Divide dough into three parts (see Cook's Note). Shape into slightly rounded loaves, and place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush onto loaves.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Bake in preheated oven until loaves are deep brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Once they are done, brush the tops with melted butter for a soft crust.

Cook's Note:

This recipe can be shaped into 3 large loaves or 6 small ones. (Check small loaves at about 30 minutes during baking.) You may use orange peel in place of the lemon zest, if you prefer.

Nutrition Facts

599.6 calories; 15.7 g protein; 98.3 g carbohydrates; 106.1 mg cholesterol; 160.8 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (44)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/06/2003
Of all the Paska recipies I have tried this one has turned out the best quality bread. The quanity made it a little difficult to work with my kitchenaid mixer, but that was minor compared to the quality. I would recommend this to anyone. Just make 2/3 of recipe to manage better. Read More
(76)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/18/2006
The bread looked beautiful but just did not have any flavor sorry. Read More
(4)
56 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 40
  • 4 star values: 10
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/06/2003
Of all the Paska recipies I have tried this one has turned out the best quality bread. The quanity made it a little difficult to work with my kitchenaid mixer, but that was minor compared to the quality. I would recommend this to anyone. Just make 2/3 of recipe to manage better. Read More
(76)
Rating: 5 stars
03/22/2011
This is the recipe that my Slovak Grandmother made every Easter. We used to make 4 types of breads, rolls, and desserts from the basic recipe. First we'd make standard bread using loaf pans. Then we'd make poppyseed and nut rolls by rolling the dough out into a square sheet of dough about 1/2" thick and covering it with canned poppyseed or nut fillings. We'd drizzle a little honey on top of the filling then roll it up starting at one edge and sealing it with a little bit of water when we came to the other edge. Finally we'd roll the dough out between our hands to make a "rope" about 3/4" in diameter. This would be cut into 3/4" pieces and then baked for 20 to 30 minutes until lightly browned to make Babalki(bobalky, bobalki, babalky). The Babalki would be served by coating them with a mixture of warmed honey and canned poppyseed filling just before serving as a dessert. Read More
(49)
Rating: 5 stars
11/06/2003
EXCELLENT FLAVOR. WILL ADD DRIED FRUIT NEXT TIME TO HALF OF IT. MADE THREE MASSIVE LOAVES. MOIST. WONDERFUL Read More
(47)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/06/2003
This recipe is wonderful & true to its origin. It was just as I had remembered my Great Aunt making. Thank you for sharing such a treasure. Read More
(37)
Rating: 5 stars
08/13/2004
I read in one of the reviews not to use the mixer so instead I divided the dough in half thinking that would solve the problem. It burned out the motor (425 watts) of my heavy duty kitchenaid. At a 175 repair bill this was the most expensive easter bread I have ever made! That said it was tasty but Don't Use a Mixer! Read More
(30)
Rating: 4 stars
02/11/2007
I followed "meisert's" advice and reduced the recipe by 2/3. I used less flour than called for, stopping at a soft dough, and putting the loaves in round pans (dutch oven, souffle dish)I would add more lemon zest. It's wonderful toasted with honey! Read More
(22)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/02/2010
WOW!! Very good recipe! I'll use this frequently. I used 1/4 c. less sugar 2 c. ff 1/2 & 1/2 and 1 c. ff milk 3 cups WWW flour and butter instead of margarine. I upped the salt to 3/4 tsp because I used unsalted butter no lemon zest and no egg wash but I did rub with butter when it came out of the oven. This recipe made 1 large loaf of bread 8 hot dog buns 6 large burger buns and a 9 x 13 pan of cinnamon rolls. Its very tender slightly sweet. Get out your BIG bowls it's ALOT of dough. Handles nicely. Beautiful! Thanks for a great recipe. Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
06/01/2010
Okay, so.....here's the thing. I made the bread dough according to the recipe, only cutting it in half. I actually used the dough for cinnamon swirl bread. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer for the prep, proofing the yeast with the sugar and warm milk/water in the mixer bowl for ten minutes. When the yeast "bloomed", I added the butter and salt and part of the flour, then the eggs, and the remainder of the flour. I only needed a little over six cups of flour all together. Once the bread dough formed into a ball, I kneaded it with my bread hook for about five minutes, adding just a little extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to the bottom. I did the first raise in a greased bowl on my warm oven for a couple hours, divided the massive dough ball, then rolled out both pieces into a long strip with my pin and spread melted butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture over the rolled out dough and rolled it up and sealed them to prevent the loaves from seperating. (Each portion I used only a couple tbsp. of melted butter and 1/4 c. granulated sugar mixed with cinnamon.) I greased my loaf pans with just a little butter and set the loaves in the pans to double again. 350* for a half hour, these loaves were cinnamon-swirl perfection. This was quite a large bread recipe, even cut in half. It really gave my 30+ year old Kitchen Aid mixer a time of it. But the outcome.....excellent. Bakery-quality bread! Read More
(17)
Rating: 4 stars
04/27/2010
The Paska was good but not great. I am Ukrainian and Paska is a must for the Easter. So I tried this recipe and some other recipes. I think 12 cups of flour is way too much. SO my Paska came out little heavy and not sweet enough. For the top we make a "frosting" from egg white and sugar. Read More
(17)
Rating: 3 stars
04/18/2006
The bread looked beautiful but just did not have any flavor sorry. Read More
(4)