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Easter Preparations

Tomorrow is Easter and by now you have likely colored your eggs, set your menu, have your groceries purchased,  made your Paska and have also thought about how you will set your table.  

We had a sibling dinner on Thursday so I am able to show you what our Easter table will look like again tomorrow.  The difference on Sunday will be two leaves added to accommodate the whole family.  

If you want to know how to fold bunny ear napkins... Martha Stewart will show you how!

My favourite flower in spring is Grape Hyacinth that can be found in garden stores in our area this time of year.  In the photo above you can see that I popped a plant into an egg cup and added a label to create a place card. 

These wooden boxes keep changing with the seasons. 
I've lined the wooden boxes with plastic and filled them with dirt.  
It will be an easy cleanup when I want to transplant the English Daisies and Grape Hyacinth outside after Easter. 

I've enjoyed playing around with natural ways to color eggs. 
There is no lack of ideas on Pinterest if you want to know which vegetables are best to use for natural coloring!  

  If you want to avoid food colorings all together, this is an easy idea.  I used a white pen to draw designs on our brown eggs. 

If you are running short on time and can't make it to the garden store, try to use whatever is growing in your yard. One year,  I picked some moss and some weeds with tiny flowers and popped them into these eggs cups to hold the place cards.

If you haven't started baking Paska yet,  I'm happy to tell you it doesn't take as long as you think it might.   Here is the recipe.   

 All you need is
  • an orange
  • a lemon 
  • milk
  • butter
  • yeast
  • flour 
  • salt  
  • sugar. 
It will take about 1/2 - 3/4 hour to mix up the dough, then it will need to rise for an hour.  After it has risen, shape into buns or loaves and then let rise about one more hour.  Bake loaves for about 25 minutes or buns about 15 minutes.  From start to finish you can have Paska in under four hours.  While the Paska is rising, set your table, color some eggs, make the icing and put together your Easter baskets!  

Whatever you do to prepare for Easter, we wish you a most wonderful day celebrating what matters most, the risen Christ!  

Happy Easter!

Good Friday

Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

John 19:31-33 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

What Christ's Sacrifice Means for those who will believe

Romans 6:22-23 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

It's so comforting to know that Good Friday isn't the end of the story but that Resurrection Day is coming. God bless you as you prepare to celebrate Christ's Resurrection.

For those of you who are still preparing food for Easter Sunday Celebrations I'll re-post my Seernaya Paska recipe here. You still have time for it to be ready to go with your Paska on Easter.

Seernaya Paska for Kulich/Paska (Russian Easter Bread)
The X and the B are for Xpucmoc Bockpec (Christ Arose)

Seernaya Paska
9- hard boiled eggs
1-1/2 pounds Farmers cheese /a dry curd cheese like a dry cottage cheese can be substituted.
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar

Press the Farmers cheese through a sieve. (This is the hardest part of the recipe and optional) We do this if the cheese we are using has large curds. I usually use a wooden spoon and press it through a wire strainer a little at a time.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. (You will not be using the whites).
Press the egg yolks through the sieve.
Cream the sugar and butter together.
Beat in the egg yolks.
Beat in the cheese.
Add whipping cream and mix well.
You will place the mixture into a container lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth with holes in the bottom so the liquid can be strained. (I've used plastic flower pots adding extra holes in the bottom) You will need enough cheesecloth to wrap up and over the top of the cheese. Place the cheese mixture into the cheese cloth lined strainer. Bring the ends of the cheese cloth up and tie the ends on top of the cheese in a knot. Place the sieve into a larger bowl suspended with enough room for the cheese to drain without sitting in the drained liquid. Place a plate on top of the cheese an place a heavy rock, brick, or other weight on top of the plate. Refrigerate over night draining off the liquid every few hours.

Farmers Cheese or Hoop Cheese can be hard to find. There are Russian/Ukrainian delis that sell a dry curd cottage type cheese that will work. If you can find a dry cottage cheese at the grocers that will work too.


Paska, Books, Lepps Farms...too much excitement for one week. By now most of us are back in our kitchens trying to prepare our last minute Easter Paska.
We all have our favorites and so we repeat them over and over because our families love them. I'm sure by now, you've all tried Lovella's Paska Recipe, which is the recipe that united us, women, together. Thank-you Lovella for a wonderful tutorial.
But today, I will share with you our family's tried and true version, the one that my kids keep asking me to bake, the one in the big pan that feeds the whole family.
What's most important is, that this keeps bringing traditions and families together.
I highly recommend that you check out Ellen's Paska Spread. I will be making this spread this year. When I tasted it, I realized that my grandmother had made it many years ago and  I could still savor the taste.
Remember, it's only Thursday, it' never to late to make Paska...Keep practicing.
  • 1 cup milk (1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 - 10 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 10 cups flour.
Kneading Machine Procedure
  1. Heat milk just to a scalding level, then add butter which will melt in the milk.
  2. Add 1 cup water to the milk mixture and by now this will have cooled down the hot milk.
  3. In mixing bowl blend half of the flour with fast-rising yeast, and add salt.
  4. Add liquids and blend for 5 minutes on the lowest setting.
  5. Combine sugar and eggs and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and beat for several minutes.
  6. Add remaining flour and add egg mixture into the kneading bowl, and knead at a high setting till the dough pulls away from the mixing bowl.
  7. Dough texture should remain soft.
  8. Let the dough rise in the mixing bowl till doubled in size. Cover with saran wrap and towel.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare your baking pans with cooking oil or parchment paper.
  10. Shape your dough into preferred pans and let rise again for 1 hour or till doubled in size.
  11. Bake at 325°  Buns need 20 minutes, while loaves need about 30-35 minutes. Check regularly that the bread does not get too brown on top.   
  12. Ice with your favorite spread.

Here's my favorite icing.  I love this one because you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge up to three months. It's also excellent for cinnamon buns.
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 41/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2/3 cups shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 21/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Dissolve white sugar in water. Shake or stir frequently. Set aside. Beat remaining ingredients to the consistency of whipped cream. Beat in sugar and water mixture. Store covered in the refrigerator. Will keep up to 3 months.
Most of our family will slice the Paska and spread it on like butter. So take the extra spread along with you. And you must always add many colorful sprinkles.
Meanwhile, let's not forget the real message of Easter in Paska making, but rather focus on who Jesus is; the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

Hilda's Glums Paska Spread

This recipe is from my friend Hilda. It is a cottage cheese and egg spread to put on Paska. As a young child I didn't appreciate this spread but since tasting Hilda's spread several years ago . .it became strangely addictive.

  • 1 - 500 ml container dry cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 small or 2 large hard boiled eggs ..roughly chopped (I make half her recipe which calls for 5 eggs)
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin softened in 1/4 cup warm water
  1. In a small saucepan heat the whipping cream and gelatin/water together. Simmer it a few minutes until it has slightly thickened. Don't boil it hard. . just a slight simmer is what you want.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a blender or food processor combine all the ingredients.
  4. Process until it is is thoroughly combined but still has a bit of texture.
  5. Fill a plastic container and put on a lid. ( I like to use a container size that is almost too small so that the lid presses down the spread to compact it slightly. (trial by error is my motto). . or put it in a glass bowl, cover with a plate and put something a little heavy ontop to press down.
  6. Chill well .. .and spread thickly on Paska.

Looking at the Easter Table

At this time of year I like to go and look for the first signs of spring . . .  even in the wild . . . tiny bright green leaves or delicate buds of all colors making their first appearance.
A few sprigs in a vase can add a simple, yet beautiful look to the table.

One Easter I used a bunny shaped chocolate container to cut out some large cookies
and they added some fun.
I rolled them out slightly thicker than the small cookies and baked them until golden around the edges. I let them cool on the cookie sheet for fear of breaking them.
I've been asked for the icing recipe and, although I gladly share it, it's not one I  measure.
Start with about 2 Tbsp of soft butter or margarine in a 4 cup measuring cup or bowl. 
Then add about 2 cups of icing sugar (confectioners sugar) and a few Tbsp of milk. 
Stir well and adjust to a consistency that spreads nicely ... 
adding more icing sugar or milk, as needed. 
For piping, make sure it's not too runny. 
Spread on cookie and let air dry a few hours until set. 
I froze these cookies and thawed them, leaving them to air dry,
 as the icing thawed out wet and then dried again.

Another way to make a pretty centerpiece is to display sugar cookies in a basket.

Behind this bunny, you will notice the Paska used as a centerpiece.
I got that idea from Ellen.

Still another way to use Paska in a decorative way, before it  disappears,
 is to make Paska in cupcake tins and put them in little cupcake baskets or holders.

I hope these ideas inspire you today.
You can find the sugar cookie recipe here
and Lovella's Paska recipe here

Two Sauces for Baked Ham

On Easter Sunday, a traditional Mennonite meal includes Baked Ham, Plumamous, Zwiebach, either scalloped potatoes or potato salad and Paska - of course. 
I remember the long tables set up in my Grandma's basement, loaded with wonderful food.
There was lots of happy noise as the adults visited and we children ran up and down the stairs, excited to be with our cousins.

A favourite condiment for the baked ham at our house is Mustard Sauce.
 It is sweet, creamy with just a bit of bite and compliments the ham to perfection.

Mustard Sauce
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Mix dry ingredients first.
  2. Beat 4 eggs until lemon coloured and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients and vinegar.
  4. Microwave at high for 1 minute.
  5. Stir well.
  6. Continue to microwave at one minute intervals (I often use a lower power), stirring each time until mixture thickens but is still creamy. You will need to watch it carefully that it does not overcook. Do not allow it to bubble. When it overcooks it loses its creamy texture.
  7. Stir in butter and cool.
  8. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with baked ham.
  9. Store any leftovers in the fridge. This is also delicious spread on ham or sausage sandwiches.

The second sauce is a favourite of our oldest son's. Because of the raisins in it I prefer to serve it when Plumamous is not on the menu.
Raisin Sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water (you can use some of the broth from the ham as part of the water. Just be aware that it will be somewhat salty)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sultana raisins (washed)
  • Juice and rind of 1/2 a lemon or orange
    Add liquids and stir well.
  1. Blend dry ingredients in glass bowl or pot.
  2. Stir in raisins, juice and rind.
  3. Microwave at one minute intervals, stirring each time or cook over medium heat on stove.
  4. Cook until it thickens and begins to bubble.
  5. Serve warm with baked ham or roast pork.

Peach Mango Ham Steak

If you're still wondering what kind of meat you want to prepare for Easter and if you only have a few people to serve this is the perfect ham dish. It's easy, pretty and delicious. If you have more people to serve, buy more ham steaks and make extra sauce.
This peach mango sauce can also be used over ice cream or in a crisp. So many possibilities.
 Recipe adapted from an old Country Woman magazine.
  • 1 ham steak, 1 1/2 pounds, fully cooked. It doesn't really matter if it's a little over or under that weight. The one I purchased was approx 1/2" thick.
  • 1 can of sliced peaches (473 ml / 16 oz), drained. Reserve 1/2 cup syrup.
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into strips. I used a medium sized mango but it doesn't really matter.
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  1. Grill ham steak just long enough to heat through and to give it nice grill marks. Cover and keep warm while preparing peach mango sauce.
  2. In a medium size bowl (microwave safe) whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, orange juice, and reserved peach syrup.
  3. Cook until thickened and smooth, approximately 4 minutes, whisking frequently to prevent lumps.
  4. Stir in peach and mango slices.
  5. Pile on top of your ham steak, making sure you get some of the sauce as well. If you have extra, serve at the table for those who would like more fruit.
  6. Serves: 4 

Easter Egg Nests

Over the past decade, we have made wee bird's nests in my kitchen every year about this time. From the oldest to the youngest, the grands have all participated.  Usually, we make the nests from rice krispee treats and add little peeps and eggs.  This year we tried something different as well.  The nests are made using a 'Chinese Noodle Cookie' recipe.
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3 cups chow mein noodles

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. Place chocolate and butterscotch  chips in large glass bowl. 
  3. Heat in microwave at full power, stirring every 30 seconds until chips are melted (about two minutes).
  4. Stir in chow mein noodles until fully coated.
  5. Drop by large scoops onto prepared baking sheet, forming a nest shape with your fingers.
  6. Place a few 'birds eggs' in the center of each nest.
  7. Chill for 30 minutes to harden. 
To make the nests of Rice Krispee scoops of the mixture into greased muffin pans and shape into nests.  Or simply forms balls of the mixture and create free-form nests with well-greased hands on a lined cookie sheet.  Then call the wee grands...

    ...and let them fill the nests with 'peeps and eggs'.  It's a fun Easter project for kids in the kitchen!

    This year Lucy, the youngest grand (upper right), came to help me fill the nests.  Some went home with her.  Others are the place-cards for our family dinner this Easter.

    If you are in need of some bird's nests for your Easter table...there is still time.  Both methods are simple...and can be created in short order.

    Happy Easter from my kitchen to yours!

    Rice Dyed Eggs ...and more

    Eggs are a symbol of the resurrection, and have been an Easter tradition for centuries. From beautifully painted works of art to simple dyed eggs, they have become an integral part of our Easter celebrations.  I'll show you one more method of colouring eggs today, as give you a few suggestions of what to do with all those hard-boiled eggs after Easter.  

    Rice-dyed eggs have a more speckled and natural look, and are also a fun method to use when dying eggs with kids.
    • hard boiled eggs
    • rice (long grain or pearl)
    • small containers with lids (large enough to hold an egg)
    • food colouring 
    1. Place 1/4 cup rice into each container.
    2. Add about 15 drops of food colouring (or a few good squirts), using a different container for each colour. If you prefer a more vibrant colour, add more food colouring.
    3. Place lid on container and shake to colour rice evenly.
    4. Add cold, hard-boiled egg to rice. Close container and gently shake until your egg is the desired shade.  

    If you find peeling eggs a real challenge, here are some tips:

    And now for a few recipes that use hard boiled eggs.  Eggs are nutritious and delicious anytime, but  especially at Easter!


    *Boiled eggs that have been stored in the fridge are safe to eat for a week.


    Hot Cross Buns

     I first shared this recipe for Easter 2012 and am reposting them for Flashback Friday since Easter is only a week away!  My Mom made them every Easter  and we ate them still warm from the oven on Thursday before Good Friday.  If there were any left...they would be our breakfast on Good Friday.

    These lightly spiced buns are soft and moist and perfect with a hot cup of tea.
    This is a smaller batch.  It would make 24 buns in 2 9X13 pans...or  you can make part of the dough into small loaves which you can slice up.  It toasts up wonderfully.
    • 5 teaspoons yeast
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 3/4 cup warm water
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 1/3 cup butter
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 cups candied diced fruit and citrus peel (sometimes called Glace Cake Mix) found in the baking aisle
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
    1. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar and warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes until the yeast has puffed up.
    2. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the milk and butter until the butter begins to melt. 
    3. Add the sugar and the eggs to the yeast mixture and the milk and butter after.  (Be sure not to add very hot milk to the yeast and egg mixture.  It should be warm but not hot to touch.
    4. Mix 1 cup of the flour with the candied fruit and stir well.
    5. Add several cups of flour and the nutmeg and vanilla to the liquid ingredients and then add the fruit. 
    6. Knead until it forms a ball.  Don't over knead.  It should come together but it will still be sticky because of the fruit.  Knead using a bit of additional flour for a few minutes.
    7. Put into a large bowl where it can double in size.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise.
    8. Once it has doubled, form into buns and place them in greased pans.  Take a very sharp knife and cut an X across each bun. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until doubled and very light.
    9. Preheat oven to 325 Convection or 350 F regular bake and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
    Mix honey glaze in microwave safe bowl: 
    • 1 Tbsp. honey
    • 2 tbsp. water
    1. Microwave for 1 minute.
    2. Brush over buns.
    3. Pipe your favorite butter icing across each bun in the X's. 

    Poppy Seed Lavender Cupcakes

    These little cupcakes are a new recipe to me, given to me by my friend, Doreen. I made these for a bridal shower recently, but I thought they would be nice to post for Easter. English Lavender is safe to use in cooking but should be used sparingly, so your food does not taste like perfume. One of the more popular things to do is to take a cup of sugar, throw in some lavender and seal it up. Use this sugar in any cake or cookie recipe you have for a subtle but amazing lavender taste. You can purchase lavender at organic or natural food stores if you do not have access to home grown.

    • 2 eggs
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • ½ cup oil
    • 1 1/4 cup flour
    • ½ teaspoon soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
    • 1 tablespoon lavender
    • ½ cup sour cream 
    1. Beat eggs well. Beat in the sugar mixed with lemon zest, poppy seeds and lavender.
    2. Stir in oil until well mixed and vanilla.
    3. Mix dry ingredients. Then add alternately with sour cream to wet ingredients.
    4. Scoop (using small melon baller size scoop) into prepared muffin tins.
    5. Bake 13 min at 350° F. Yield: 36 mini cupcakes
    6. Ice with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with colored sugar or sprinkles. 

    Hot Cross Buns

    Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns
    One a penny, two a penny
    Hot cross Buns
    If you have no daughters,
    Give them to your sons,
    One a penny, two a penny
    Hot Cross Buns!

    Always a favourite at our house, I tried and tweaked recipes
    until I came up with one I like. These have the dough crosses on them and a honey glaze.
    • 2 cups scalded milk
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 7 1/2 - 8 1/2 cups flour, divided
    • (you can use about 2 cups whole wheat flour if you like)
    • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
    • 2/3 cup sultana raisins, washed and patted dry
    • 2/3 cup fruitcake mix (candied fruit, with or without peel)
    • grated rind of 1 orange
    1. Mix warmed milk, margarine and water until margarine melts.
    2. In large bowl of mixer, combine 4 cups flour, yeast, salt, sugar and spices.
    3. In medium bowl, dredge fruit and raisins in 1/2 cup flour. Set aside.
    4. Pour in milk/margarine mixture.
    5. Using beater attachment of mixer, turn on mixer and gradually add beaten eggs.
    6. Change to dough hook and add floured raisins and fruit and grated rind.
    7. Mix and gradually add flour until mixture begins to form a ball.
    8. Mix for 5 minutes or knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic.
    9. Place in greased bowl cover with greased plastic and a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
    10. Grease two 9 x 13 inch pans and one 9 x 9 inch pan. or 3  9 x 13 inch pans.
    11. Form buns and place in pans.
    12. Cover again and let rise until doubled.
    Mix dough for crosses:
    • 1 cup flour
    • 5 tablespoons shortening or lard
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • dash of salt
    • about 1/2 - 2/3 cup water
    1. Cut shortening into flour, sugar and salt.
    2. Add water and stir well - dough should be sticky and somewhat soft.
    3. Place dough into a piping bag with a 1/4 inch tip. Set aside.
    4. Brush buns with 1 egg yolk whisked together with 1 tablespoon water.
    5. Pipe crosses on, using a knife to cut off the dough from the tip.
    6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 17- 20 minutes.
    7. Remove to rack. Cool for 1/2 hour.
    Mix honey glaze in microwave safe bowl:
    • 1 Tbsp. honey
    • 2 tbsp. water
    1. Microwave for 1 minute.
    2. Brush over buns.
    3. These freeze well.

    Paska Buns

    Paska (based on the Hebrew word for passover) is a rich, citrussy sweet bread...baked in loaves or rolls of all shapes and sizes and decorated with icing and sprinkles. It is a traditional Easter bread baked by many generations before me. There are enough paska lovers in our family...that I think this tradition will carry on.

    Paska was baked the Saturday before Easter in my childhood home, and on Easter Sunday we enjoyed the nicely decorated fresh paska. Though it is often baked in loaf form, we prefer paska buns over here.  They are easy to transport and share with friends and neighbours.  The following recipe uses instant yeast for simplicity.

    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 small lemon, zest and juice
    • 1 small orange, zest and juice
    • 4 eggs, well beaten
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons instant yeast *
    • 7-7 1/2 cups flour , approximately
    1. Scald milk and butter in microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir to melt butter.
    2. Grate rind of lemon and orange. Then squeeze juice of each.
    3. Combine milk, butter, lemon and orange in a large bowl.  
    4. Add beaten eggs, sugar and salt.  Mix well. 
    5. Combine instant yeast with 4 cups flour and add to liquids.  Beat until smooth.
    6. Continue adding flour, one cup at a time until the dough no longer sticky, but still quite soft.
    7. Knead for several minutes.
    8. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.
    9. Form small balls (the size of dinner rolls) and place on well greased pans.
    10. Allow to rise once more until doubled in size about 1 1/2 hours. 
    11. Bake at 325°F for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 
    12. Remove to wire racks to cool.
    13. Frost with the icing of your choice...and top with sprinkles. 
    Yield: 3 dozen paska buns
     * If you have active dry yeast, you might want to use Lovella's recipe, which is very similar to this one.

    Yeast doughs that are heavy on milk, butter and eggs tend to rise a little slower.  Have patience!


    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.

    Paska Buns

    Every family has their own traditional Paska recipes they love. My mother makes a citrus flavor Paska. A friend of mine uses saffron in her recipe, another Cardamon and of course we all love the famous Paska by Lovella. Each recipe delicious yet different.This is my sister by love's recipe using potatoes and potato water but no citrus. I prefer to make Paska Buns instead of loaves for the simple reason that we are not tempted to eat the whole loaf.  Each bun has lots of icing and sprinkles, what is not to love about that.  This dough is easy to work with, ending with a soft and tender bun. I got 92 buns from this batch. Thanks for sharing your family tradition with us Patty.

    • 3 tablespoon traditional yeast
    • 3 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups warm water
    In a very large mixing bowl combine the yeast and sugar in the water and give it a stir. Let it rest for 10 minutes until you have a nice foam.
    • 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced 
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 cups melted shortening
    • 2 cups milk
    • 10 eggs, beaten
    • 3 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla
    • approximately 16 cups flour
    1. Cook the diced potatoes in the cups water. Mash and let cool. (Or put it in the blender for no small chunks of potato).
    2. Heat the milk, sugar and vanilla til very warm to touch.
    3. Add the beaten eggs and pour it into the potato water and milk mixture.
    4. Add the liquid ingredients to the yeast bowl.
    5. Add 6 cups of flour to make a paste.
    6. Let this mixture rest and rise for 20 minutes.
    7. Add remaining flour to make a soft dough. You may need a bit less or more depending on the humidity that day. 
    8. Knead for about 10 minutes until dough is no longer sticky but soft.
    9. Let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
    10. Form into buns and let rise about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
    11. Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes.


    There is no other recipe that has found me more friends than this one. Most of the girls who share this blog with me. ..found my personal blog by "googling Paska". The recipe originated with my husband's Grandmother .. .but I made it simpler by utilizing my blender and thin peeling my citrus.

    The aroma just amazing .. from the time you blend the citrus until the last loaf has cooled.
    You will need 4 or 5 loaf pans or you can free form little twists or use muffin tins just adjust your baking time, and watch the oven closely.

    • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
    • 1 cup warm water
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    1. In a large bowl, put your yeast, sugar and warm water. Let sit 10 minutes. 
    • 1 medium lemon
    • 1 medium orange
    1. Take your citrus and peel it very thin. I use a vegetable peeler. You don't want to use any of the white parts of the peel. Put the thinly sliced peel in the blender.
    2. Once you have removed and discarded the white pith of the citrus. Chop your lemon and orange, removing all the seeds. Add the chopped lemon and orange to the blender.
    • 1 1/4 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup of real butter
    1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and milk until the butter melts or do it in a saucepan on the stove.
    2. Once it is melted add it to the blender. Start the blender .. and begin to puree.
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    1. Start the blender on high and allow the citrus, peel, and milk, butter mixture to run for about 2 or 3 minutes.
    2. Add the eggs, sugar, and salt.
    3. Continue to run the blender for another minute or two until very smooth.
    4. Measure the milk/citrus and sugar mixture it should be about 4 1/2 cups. If you have a bit more or less that is fine. .you will just adjust the flour likewise.
    5. Pour the mixture, along with the yeast mixture into a large bowl .. or the bowl of your kitchen machine, which has a dough hook.
    6. Add flour one cup at a time until you have a smooth soft dough it will be sticky. I think about 7 cups of flour should be right. . but it will depend on the size of your eggs and the size of your lemon and orange. With a plastic bowl, it is easy to tell when the dough has enough flour because it will stop sticking to the side of the bowl but with a metal bowl you really do need to stop the mixer often and touch your dough before adding additional flour. It really is best to stop the machine once it is getting close. . and knead the last bit of flour by hand. . .a little at a time until it is smooth. Do not add more than 7 1/2 cups flour allow it to remain sticky. If you measured the milk mixture and had 4 1/2 cups 7 cups of flour will be enough sticky but enough.
    7. The amount of flour is a guide. If your dough is still super sticky add a little more flour a dusting at a time. Look at the picture in the collage of my dough .. .that is how it should look. It should be able to hold its shape. There will be several factors in how your dough could be different than mine, the flour you purchase or how you fill your cup of flour.  (I scoop and shake to level). It could be that you have slightly more liquid. Don't despair if you think it is still too sticky, slowly add a dusting more, turn the dough on the counter and knead until you are out of flour again and then give it another dusting and continue this way until it looks silky and is elastic.  (like mine in the picture).
    8. After kneading it by hand or with the machine for about 8 - 10 minutes, transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, a tea towel, and allow to rise until doubled. This should take about an hour. .to an hour and a half.
    9. At this point, give it a bit of a punch down and let rest at least 10 minutes or up to another hour.
    10. During this time prepare your pans. I spray mine with Pam. Make loaves and let rise until doubled in bulk .. .or about an hour to an hour and a half.
    11. Preheat the oven to 350 F. If you have a convection oven, set it at 325 F. Bake the loaves for approximately 20 - 30 minutes depending on the size of your pans.
    12. Gently remove from pans and place on cooling racks.  Once they are completely cool,  put them in the freezer unless you are eating them the same day. 
    Paska Icing
    • 1 cup of soft real butter
    • 4 pasteurized egg whites (young children, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should avoid raw egg whites)  I often use egg white powder and water.
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • enough icing sugar to make a soft icing. It will harden again in the fridge.
    1. Beat all together until light and smooth....and spread on each slice .. .and sprinkle with colored sugar.