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Thread: ISO: Traditional Catholic Easter Bread

  1. #1
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    ISO: Traditional Catholic Easter Bread

    I've been invited to an Easter dinner party hosted by friends from my church and I thought it would be nice to bring a traditional catholic bread served specifically on easter. I've googled and done some other searching through my cookbooks and the only info I turned up so far was about a bread called pascha/paska...which called for candied fruits, and an extreme amount of butter. Not something I think would go well served with pork! Does anyone know of a traditional bread, or even a more user friendly version for pascha/paska? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I am Catholic, too, but I have never heard of a Catholic Easter bread. The breads you referred to sound ethnic to me , or a reference to Pascal lamb? Is there a particular bread that your family made for Easter? My mom was more into ethnic [Slovak] desserts for Easter. Sorry I'm not of much help. I am going to make the garlic cheese rolls posted on the BB. Always good and tasty.

    Vicky

  3. #3
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    I second Vicky's reply

    My neighbors are Greek and they have Easter bread. Maybe it is a regional thing, but none that I know of here in my part of PA. But I will be watching this thread to see if someone has one.
    "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

  4. #4
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    Another Catholic- never heard of such a bread.

    Are you thinking of Challah? That would be soooo good to bring. Or maybe the paska with the eggs baked into it?

    C
    Take time to explore the untraveled paths and secret gardens of this sweet life. ~unknown

  5. #5
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    how about the Greek Easter Bread in CL March 05? i have no idea how traditional it is, but it looks delicious and got good reviews on the website, so i'm making it for breakfast on easter morning. it's part of an article for the main meal, though, so it would probably be good with dinner, too.

  6. #6
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    My mom always made hot cross buns for Easter. I'm not sure if it a traditional Easter bread, but it seems appropriate. I found a recipe in Foster's Market cookbook; it had dried fruit in it also. If you are interested in the recipe, I can post.

  7. #7
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    This is the bread that we used to make for Easter - always the day before since it takes all day just to get to the baking stage. We had a very large angel food cake pan that we would use to bake the whole thing at once rather than dividing it into three. I can't say that it's the best tasting bread and I don't know that it is "Catholic" other than that the recipe was passed down in a Catholic family, but we do call it Easter Bread Even though it seems to be loaded with butter, eggs, and sugar, the recipe makes a lot of servings.

    Easter Bread

    INGREDIENTS:
    1 cup butter, softened
    2 cups milk
    2 packages active dry yeast
    1/2 cup warm water
    5 eggs
    4 egg yolks
    1 cup white sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    10 cups all-purpose flour (more or less)
    3 cups golden raisins

    DIRECTIONS:
    1. Dissolve yeast in a small bowl in warm water. Let rest 5 min.
    2. In a small saucepan, scald the milk. Add 1 cup butter, and stir until melted. Remove from heat and let cool until it is warm but not hot.
    3. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and egg yolks. Add sugar and salt and beat until thick and pale. Add vanilla to yeast mixture. Combine with butter/ milk. Beat in 4 cups flour. Add in milk mix alternating with remaining four cups of flour while beating. Add up to an additional cup flour if the dough is too sticky. Mix in raisins by hand.
    4. Gently knead dough is smooth and elastic - about 10 min. Transfer dough to a large buttered bowl, turn to coat. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm place to rise for 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down, re-cover the bowl, and allow to rise again. Punch the dough down, re-cover the bowl, and allow to rise again.
    5. Grease three angel food pans.
    6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    7. Punch the dough down again. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so. Cut into thirds and transfer dough to pans. Cover loosely with with a clean towel and let the dough to rise to the top of pans.
    8. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on rack.

  8. #8
    Paska is a Ukranian/Polish easter bread traditionally served for in eastern european catholic households. My mom is ukranian, and this is the recipe she's given to me. Hope you enjoy it!

    INGREDIENTS:
    2 packages active dry yeast
    1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    1/4 to 1/2 cup white sugar
    1 1/2 cups warm milk
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3 eggs, beaten
    1/4 cup butter, softened

    Egg wash:
    1 egg
    2 tablespoon water


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DIRECTIONS:
    Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl until slightly frothy.
    In the meantime, combine sugar, butter, eggs, warm milk and salt. Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture along with four cups of flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). Cover and put in a dark, warm place to rise for 1 hour. Punch down, then let rise an additional hour. Punch down again and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in thirds and shape into loaves on greased baking sheets (or use loaf pans). Cover and let rise 30 minutes. Uncover, beat 1 egg with 2 tablespoons water; brush onto loaves. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes (bread browns quickly so watch carefully).

  9. #9
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    Question Where did Bob's post go?

    I was reading this thread a little while ago (maybe 1/2 hour?) and saw Bob's post mentioning numerous Easter breads. I went to search for my bread book to see if I had any of the recipes he mentioned.

    I came back to check....and his post is gone?

    I know I'm an "over 50/empty nester" but I don't think I have totally "lost" it...or have I? Wasn't there a "Bob" post on this thread?

    Now I'll be embarrassed if I find after submitting this that Bob's post is still there & I just missed it.

    Or maybe it was a different thread?

    (Note: Be sure to chuckle at self. )

  10. #10
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    I had never heard of a Catholic Easter bread before, but I was thinking that there is usually always a traditional food served for religious holidays. Oh well, I was actually planning on making Challah before I went on my search, but Yoga; you're recipe sounds great so I might just change my mind.

    A package of yeast equals about 3 teaspoons of loose yeast, is this right? Or is it 2 teaspoons, I can never remember!

  11. #11
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    I am Catholic and it just wouldn't be Easter without Paska bread and kolach. Try adding rasins to the paska bread recipe as that is how I always had it. sorry I don't have a kolach (a poppy seed or nut roll) recipe off hand.

  12. #12
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    it's an ethnic thing Portuguese people traditionally have sweet bread that they make into baskets with colored eggs baked into the basket...so do italians. Some use raisins, some don't. My mom uses a hint of lemon in hers. Very similar to babka or hawaiian bread.
    "Comfy? I'm chained in a bathtub drinkin' pig's blood from a novelty mug. Doesn't rank huge in the Zagut's Guide."

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnGourmetGal
    I had never heard of a Catholic Easter bread before, but I was thinking that there is usually always a traditional food served for religious holidays. Oh well, I was actually planning on making Challah before I went on my search, but Yoga; your recipe sounds great so I might just change my mind.

    A package of yeast equals about 3 teaspoons of loose yeast, is this right? Or is it 2 teaspoons, I can never remember!
    A packet of active dry yeast is like a scant tablespoon.

    Re: the breads, remember that there are so many different ethnicities that make up the body Catholic; we were Polish, French and German, and at Easter we always had fruited Babka, or an Easter-y filled version of Stollen, that is usually a Christmas bread. Pashka is also a softened cheese mixture of Russian origin, as far as I know.
    The Italian Catholics I grew up with had their own special dishes, ditto the Irish families I knew. Every one of them, a different tradition.

  14. #14
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    Martha Stewart has a recipe that I've made for a number of years. It's Babka and is better than my Polish grandmother's!

  15. #15
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    Okay, I've finally decided to make James Beard's Challah...I was toying with the idea of making hot cross buns (they do have religious meaning during Lent), but I don't think a bread with candied fruit would go well with dinner. That would be more a breakfast item if I made them, which I still might do tomorrow.

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