When we talk about celebrating a certain holiday, we cannot leave talking about the dishes. The food served during the celebration is a part of the tradition. You sit with your family, enjoy the traditional meals together while celebrating the holiday. Nice, isn’t it? 🙂
Take Christmas for example. When the family gathers, you will always find these traditional dishes on the table. Turkey with stuffing and mashed potatoes will not be forgotten to be served. You can have the turkey with some cranberry sauce and the mashed potatoes with some gravy. Along with those two dishes, you can eat some vegetables such as carrots, turnip, and parsnips. There is no Christmas dinner without some desserts. There are some most common options, they are pie (pumpkin or apple), pudding (raisin or Christmas), or fruitcake.
Just like Christmas, Easter also has its traditional food. Some dishes are common in many countries. For example, the roasted lamb. Many people will cook roasted lamb and eat it together with their family on Easter Sunday. The details of the roasted lamb recipe might differ in each country or culture. But everybody mixes the same main ingredients. Garlic, lemon, and herbs are some of the ingredients you will find in every recipe of Easter roasted lamb. Christmas dinner is not going to happen without dessert. The same thing applies to Easter. Besides all the tasty savory main dishes you are going to enjoy, you can complete the whole course with some mouthwatering desserts.
Among the many kinds of Easter cake, there is one cake that you can try to make at home. This one is called Kulich, a Russian Easter cake. It tastes so delightful and easy to make. This Easter cake in Russia should be this year resolution!
The Lovely Russian Easter Cake “Kulich”
- What Is Kulich?
Each country has its traditional Easter dishes. All of those dishes are considered to be their traditional food because it has been passed from generation to generation. As a part of the Easter celebration, Russians always prepare their traditional meals and one of them is called Kulich.
Since a very long time ago, bread has been a part of traditions in Russian’s Easter celebration. Experts state the start of Easter’s bread tradition was associated with the Byzantine Empire. Now you will find this tradition in many countries with Christian Orthodox as the dominant religion. It means you can see the citizen of, not only Russia but also Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Moldova, North Macedonia, and Serbia, consumes the same kind of bread. Kulich is indeed categorized as Easter cake but, in those countries, the people also make it as the marking point of the start of spring.
Kulich can indeed be considered as homemade cake. But in Russia, the churchgoers eat this yummy cake after the Easter service at their church. Once the service is done, the priest will bless the Kulich, which by that time have been decorated with colorful flowers on top and put into a basket. What makes the Russians’ Easter tradition unique is the fact that people eat Kulich before breakfast. You can also eat it for dessert but for this part, you can eat the leftovers that have not been blessed and eat it together with Paskha. Paskha is a food made of curd cheese. Imagine how great it tastes when you eat Kulich with some Paskha!
You can easily recognize Kulich when it is displayed in a bakery shop. You will see the top of the cake being covered with white icing and colorful flowers. This decoration has changed a lot. The Russians usually covered with some cheese Paskha and garnished it with an XB symbol. These letters stand for a traditional Easter greeting which means “Christ is risen!” and the response for that greeting is “Truly, he is risen!”.
- How To Make Kulich?
When you are celebrating something, you must have the hope to make the celebration as fun as possible. As part of the celebration, you can try making your own Kulich. Yes, it consumes a lot of time but it will be worth it! So worth it that you will agree that making this Easter cake in Russia should be this year resolution.
If you want to make Kulich, the first thing you must do is to prepare the ingredients. Here are all the ingredients you are going to need:
- 2 cups of warm milk (mix 2 cups of warm water with 2 tablespoons of milk)
- 6 room-temperature eggs
- 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
- 2 cups of sugar
- 226 grams of melted unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup of sour crea
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 9 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of raisin (white or brown)
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Paper baking molds and plastic wrap
Once you check that you have all the ingredients, you can start making Kulich.
- Put 2 cups of warm milk (mix 2 cups of warm water with 2 tablespoons of milk), 6 room-temperature eggs, 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast, 2 cups of sugar, 226 grams of melted unsalted butter, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of sour cream, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla into a mixing bowl and whisk them together. Then, add 4 cups of all-purpose flour into the mixture. Once you mix all of them, you will get a thick batter (it has the same consistency as sour cream). The next thing to do is to let the batter rise. So, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it into the oven (around 37oC) for 2 hours.
- After two hours, add the rest of the 5 cups of the all-purpose flour (add it one cup at a time). You get the right batter if it is sticky but does not stick to your fingers. Then, put a cup of raisins into the mixture and stir it. Cover the whole bowl again with the plastic wrap, let it sit again for a couple of hours in the 370C oven.
- Now you are ready to fill the dough into the paper baking molds. Once you are done filling it up, put the paper baking molds into the 370C, let it sit uncovered for another 2 hours. After 2 hours, take them all out, preheat the oven to 1760C, place the bread in the middle of the oven, and bake it for 30-35 minutes. You will see the bread’ color turns into golden brown. Take the bread out, let it cool down, then you can tear off the paper.
- In a bowl, whisk 2 cups of powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Check the consistency. If it is too thick, you may add a little bit of water. If it is too runny, you may add a little bit of powdered sugar. There, you have the glaze to cover the Kulich.
Now we have learned how to make Kulich. Trying to make this Easter cake in Russia should be this year resolution and you will not regret it!