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Paska Gluten Free -- improved recipe

I worked with my gf Paska recipe and came up with this variation that I prefer to my other one. It smells delicious while baking.
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp regular yeast
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla , or almond extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 lemon - juice and zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup white bean flour (small white navy beans)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  1. Mix sugar and gelatin , add warm milk - whisk in yeast and let proof
  2. Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil, and lemon juice and zest
  3. Add proofed yeast
  4. Blend together all the dry ingredients
  5. Add dry ingredients all at once to liquids and beat on high for a couple of minutes
  6. Spoon into desire greased pans or tins (smooth tops with wet hand) and let rise in warm place for about 30-60 minutes until doubled in bulk.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes
  8. Let sit in pan for a few minutes before removing to cool on rack.
  9. Let cool completely and then ice with white icing and decorate with sprinkles - coloured or chocolate
If not eating the same day , freeze until needed.


  1. Looks great, Julie! This GF Mennonite Girl will give it a whirl!

  2. PERFECT timing! I was thinking of reworking my GF Paska recipe, but now I see you did, and the local store just got in white bean flour. I know what I'll be making now! Thanks, Julie!! :)

  3. I had a slice last night and you could have fooled me in regard to it being gluten free. It tasted like normal sweet bread. Made me happy for anyone who has wheat allergies. Julie, you are so persistent in working out these recipes and it pays off!

  4. I noticed in the cookbook you had the weights. Can you do this with your blog recipes as well?

  5. Thanks, I just asked and here it is, my little GF girl will love it!

  6. Can I ask???...What is paska? It looks amazing, but I have no idea what it is :)

  7. ohh 'Farmgirls' - I'm sorry, I should have explained it. Paska is an Easter bread that Mennonites have enjoyed for as long as we can remember.
    It is a sweet bread with citrus flavoring and traditionally covered with icing and sprinkles or a special cheese spread.

  8. Do you just grind up millet into flour and white beans into flour? Can I substitute the bean flour? We're new to Gluten free and having difficulty where we live finding all the ingredients :)

  9. I am Rich's little GF girl as noted above. I just wanted to comment as to the success or lack there of the first batch. It smells like paska but beyond that the flavour is a little flat, I would definitely double the vanilla and the salt next time. Also I substituted sweet potato flour for bean flour because I don't like the earthiness of bean flour. But I think the biggest issue is it's more sponge like than dense. It's still paska and that's a beautiful thing given how many years I've gone without but I think I'll work with it a little more.

  10. looking forward to giving this one a try!

  11. GF girl.. substituting potato flour for the bean flour is not a good substitute... It is too heavy.
    You should be able to buy the millet flour in a health food store...(or online- I order some of my flour from Authentic Foods) and using extra millet instead of the bean or brown rice flour would work just fine.
    In gluten-free baking success depends on getting the right flour/starch combination and the right dry/liquid ratio.
    If you want more flavour add more lemon zest and juice.

  12. Sweet potato flour as far as I can see in online conversions is not the same as potato flour and can be used to substitute for any other GF flour like rice flour while adding fibre and sweetness which is why I picked it. The issue wasn't density, actually it was too light and sponge like, I wanted something more dense like the paska I grew up with. I will keep playing with the flours and the density. You are right though sometimes it's the little things that make a difference. So who knows what will come out of my oven tomorrow when I try it again.

  13. Will try this for my daughter who LOVES paska but can't have any wheat now. Could you please give a more clear indication of how much this makes? You say "pans" but not sure about sizes. When I make regular paska I put it in a 8x4 loaf pan. I'm guessing this only makes one loaf?

  14. Yes...this recipe will make one loaf of Paska , or 12 cupcakes. I wish your daughter a very special Happy Easter WITH Paska !

  15. June here,
    This sounds great:) I have a daughter-in-law who is celiac, she has never had Paska. I would love for her to taste Paska. I was wondering if I could use butter instead of oil? I make gluten Paska with butter, love the flavour! I have navy beans and a grinder to make flour. I was wondering if the navy bean taste is earthy? The Paska I make is light and moist. Is this light and moist?
    Thank you for the work you have put into developing this recipe!

  16. Hi June, you could surely use butter instead of oil.... And I do NOT like an earthy bean flavor.. but the navy (small white) beans when I grind them myself do not have a detected bean flavour. I find they only mimic a wheat flavour.
    This paska is light and moist. My husband had some of my mother's regular paska yesterday and he said mine was lighter and moister - he actually preferred it !
    So I hope this recipe meets your expectations and gives your daughter-in-law a taste 'treat'.

  17. Hi there, I am one GF girl myself, and I was wondering... How can I make this in the Bread-machine? I cannot knead things myself anymore due to pain in the joints.

  18. How can I make this in the Bread machine? I can no longer knead nor shape any dough with my own hands due to pain in the joints...

  19. Hi Verena, I have not made this in a bread machine... but with gluten free yeast baking there is NO kneading called for.
    All you need is a stand-mixer.. and then spoon it into your pans to rise.

  20. Would I be able to just use a GF all purpose flour mix instead of having to round up all those different flours?

    1. Gluten free baking is a lot of trial and error .. and until you try it is hard to say how it will turn out. You could try your gf mix and if it turns out you have certainly simplified the recipe. You may have to adjust the liquid amounts though and leave out the xanthan gum.
      I am more focused on getting texture/flavour as close to the reg. flour as possible, rather than finding the simplest recipe, and sometimes that is only possible with a certain mix of flours.
      Hope you find it works for you !

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Hello :)
    Thank you for providing wonderful GF options for those of us who enjoy Mennonite food! I was wondering, as a new GF baker, what is the benefit/purpose of using the gelatin?
    Also, I am wondering if you will be creating a GF Zwieback recipe soon? My family will be enjoying Faspa on Good Friday and I would love to provide some GF options for my Celiac mom.
    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Tante Johanna, thank you for your kind comment!
      The benefit of the gelatin in binding with the yeast helps it to do its job of rising the dough. It is a secret I learned from a professional baker who worked hard at developing gf breads for his god daughter.
      If I'm using yeast I automatically add the unflavoured gelatin with the sugar.
      GF Zwieback are a challenge ... I have not yet found a way to make to make a satisfactory gf version. The real problem is that gf dough can't be stiff enough to knead and therefore not stiff enough to be able to form the 'Zwie'- backs.... (two cheeks) But I'll keep trying.

    2. THIS WAS SO GOOD!!!!

      I made it today and it's already half eaten. I realised halfway through my second piece that I forgot the oil, but it wasn't missing it. It was super moist and fluffy. Ideal sweetness. I used Planet Organics "Gluten Free Featherlight Rice Flour Mix" and it was perfect. I also used orange and lemon. SO perfect. I am so thankful for your recipe! My mother will be sooooo happy!!

      Thank you Thank you!

      I will try to make Zwieback next. I'll let you know how it goes :)


    3. I made the Zwieback today with tasty success! I used this recipe to create a similar one with potato water instead of the juice (about 3/4 cup watery mashed potatoes), melted butter instead of oil, 1 tbsp of sugar instead of the 1/2 cup, and no vanilla. I used the same flour blend as I did with the Paska.
      I filled greased muffin tins 3/4 full, smoothed them with wet hands. I then pinched off a little ball from each, and with wet hands rolled it a bit and placed it on top.
      They baked at 350 for 15-17 minutes.

      Very yummy :)

    4. Julie, I found a few recipes for gluten free in which the dough was similar to wheat dough (it was stiff and could be handled). Actually, you can even get it nice and soft and fairly elasticy feeling like wheat dough. Like this pita recipe:

      So maybe that would help you with the Zwieback? My husband can't have gluten (his joints swell up), and so he has never had Zwieback (he is not Mennonite)!

    5. Thank you for your comment and also for the link. I'll keep working on the Zweibach!!

  23. I made the paska and found it wasn't baked through to the centre. I made it in a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan and baked it for 30 minutes. I would find it helpful if you were more specific about the size of pans. I was happy with the texture of the dough. It had lovely wheat like texture. However, the flavour wasn't like the regular paska I make and my daughter, who loved my regular paska, was disappointed. My regular recipe calls for cream and butter rather than oil and milk. Do you think I could substitute those in the recipe? I also found that my loaf started to fall in the centre as baking progressed. What might cause this? It browned quickly on top but not on the sides of the pan. Any advice you can give about baking pans and how to tell if the loaf is baked through would be appreciated. I really appreciate all the GF recipes you post and have found them helpful in making other traditional Mennonite recipes. Thanks. Susan

    1. I'm sorry the Paska was a disappointment to you.
      I didn't specify pan size with the Paska because it is traditional to bake it in various shaped containers. I never bake it in a large loaf pan- I find that yeast gluten free baking works better in smaller pans -- the 20-30 min. baking time would have been in muffin tins as shown in photo.
      The falling as well would be because of your larger pan.
      You could surely try substituting the butter and cream - you never know until you try. The cream might be a bit heavy though - try butter and whole milk.
      Hope your second try leaves you happier !

    2. I will try again using butter and whole milk. I too think that the cream might be too heavy. Also I'll make them in muffin tins as I have come to understand that gluten free breads are denser and so take longer to bake in the larger pan. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly so I can give it another try tomorrow. Paska is my daughter's particular favourite so it is worth persevering. In my regular recipe I not only use lemon juice and rind but also lemon, almond and vanilla flavouring. I'll replace a little of the milk with the extra flavouring and see if that improves the flavour.
      Thanks again for your reply. Susan

  24. Since gluten is the protein part of wheat, it helps to hold the bread up and keep it from falling so without gluten it is indeed hard to make something strong enough. I've noticed most of the GF breads we buy are much smaller loaves, I think this might be because it is harder to make a large GF bread that can support all that weight if that makes sense. In Julie's picture she seems to have made paska buns or muffins, so I think making it like that might work better or even just a smaller loaf than your traditional paska.
    Thanks for the recipe! Will be trying it soon!

  25. Dear Julie,

    which of your two recipes would you recommend please?
    Before I became gluten intolerant, the bread recipe I used came from a cookbook called Traditional Ukrainian Cookery by Savella Stechishin. Recipe is found on page 332 and 333. It's is the recipe my Mama used since I could eat bread. It was literally the best bread in the whole world.

    Book's ISBN is 0-919490-36-0

    I sincerely missed having a large, fluffy, tender Paska last year, and I'm hoping to find a recipe that will mimic the one I know and love.

    I hope you can help!

    By the way, what pans would you recommend for optimal baking, please? We normally used 5 liter pasta pots , but that was for the traditional recipe.

    Thanks so much!


    1. Hi Greta .... I would recommend my 'improved' paska recipe .... and I find I get the most rise and fluffy texture if I bake the paska in muffin tins or small loaves.
      I did find the recipe that you mentioned online and it is very close to the recipe my mom used ... Most paska recipes have the citrus ingredients to give it that distinctive flavour .. but of course you can leave it out if you are not used to having it.
      hope that helps !! hugs ... julie

  26. Thank you Julie for this recipe. I have already made 2 batches of this paska, and it's amazing!

  27. I found your gluten free paska recipe on the MGCC web site, and I also found a recipe for Gluten Free Paska in the MGCC Celebrations cook book. They are very similar but some quantities vary, which is the better recipe?

    1. I believe the only variation is in the yeast amount ... I use the recipe in the book.

  28. Is there anyway to make paska without dairy or soy or coconut milk? My daughter-in-law is gf and dairy free as well as soy, coconut and almond milk free. I'd like to try and make some for her.

    1. Can she eat rice ? then you could try Rice Dream - 'milk' made from rice -- or you can also make your own rice milk - lots of recipes online. I think the commercial rice-milk would have a smoother texture than diy - although you could help remove any gritty crumbs by straining with cheesecloth.
      Hope that works for you !