Russian kulich is a sweet yeast-risen bread typically served at Easter. As with most recipes, the specifics of the recipe varies from family to family. The recipe we share with you today comes from Ellen Lester, former leader and longtime supporter of Kodiak 4-H. She learned the recipe from her mother, and says it is an Old Kodiak recipe that has been passed down, originally from Kaba Chichenoff.
Project Discipline: Baking
Ages: All ages!!
Difficulty level: Medium (Cloverbuds will need help)
Supplies needed: See ingredient list! In addition, you will need cans or bread loaf pans, several large bowls, a wooden spoon and a mixer is optional.
Timing: Don't Delay!! This recipe takes time. Ellen says that she typically starts the process at 7:30 AM and sometimes doesn't finish up until late into the evening. Let's get started!
Step 1 (Early in the morning): Make the sponge
Step 2: Cream Remaining Ingredients
Meanwhile, mix ingredients as indicated below.
Ingredients for this step:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp lemon extract (optional)
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, salt, nutmeg, vanilla and lemon extract. It's a good idea to crack the eggs into a separate cup before adding to the mix.
Step 3: Combine Risen Sponge with Creamed Ingredients
First, put raised sponge in larger bowl. Add creamed ingredients. Mix well.
Step 4: Add remaining ingredients, then knead dough and let it raise.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Put dough into a large greased bowl, top side down then flip it over into same bowl, so it has a little grease on the top. Cover with a light kitchen towel and let sit in a warm spot about 4 hours, until double.
Step 5: Transfer dough into cans and let raise.
Step 6: Bake & Add Topping
Once dough has risen to the tops of at least half of your containers, it's time to put them in the oven! Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Kulich is done when you can shake it out of the can, but it might take some effort depending on how well you greased your cans!
Cool out of cans for 15 minutes on a rack. While still warm, frost with confectioner glaze, and sprinkles if you'd like!
To make the glaze, start with 1/2 cup of confectioner sugar, add a dash of vanilla and then mix in milk, 1 tsp at a time, until it reaches desired taste and consistency. Icing should be thick.
Enjoy!! Share with friends or freeze for later. Don't forget to share your photos with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to show them to Ellen!
4-H & Youth Development
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Cooperative Extension State Office
1751 Tanana Loop, Room 209
Fairbanks, AK 99775