This gorgeous Russian Easter bread, or kulich, is a sweet, yeast-risen bread flavoured with raisins and honey.

Makes
2

Preparation

35min

Cooking

45min

Skill level

Ace
By
Average: 2.1 (125 votes)
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Ingredients

  • 3 x 7 g sachets yeast or 40 g fresh yeast
  • 125 ml (½ cup) warm milk
  • 900 g (6 cups) plain flour
  • 4 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 250 g unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 100 g (⅔ cup) raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175 g (½ cup) honey
  • 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 215 g (1⅓ cups) pure icing sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream
  • chocolate or decorative Easter eggs, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Makes 2 loaves

Cooling time 1 hour

Resting time 3 hour

You will need 2 x 500 g instant coffee tins for this recipe. Do not remove the lid or the foil seal, instead remove paper label, turn tin upside-down and, using a can opener, remove the base and empty the contents. Alternatively, use 2 x 18 cm round springform pans. This is best eaten the day it is made.

Dissolve yeast in 125 ml warm water in a large bowl. Add milk and 150 g flour, and whisk until smooth. Cover and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1½ hours or until mixture doubles in size.

Combine eggs, yolks, butter, raisins, ½ teaspoon vanilla, honey, sugar, oil and ½ tsp salt in a large bowl. Add to the yeast mixture and gradually beat in remaining 750 g flour with a wooden spoon until combined.

Place dough in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and knead for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Line insides of tins (see recipe intro) with baking paper. Place dough evenly into each and cover. Place in a warm, draught-free place for 1½ hours or until dough doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place tins in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until kulich is golden and a metal skewer inserted in centre comes away clean; cover with foil if browning too quickly. Cool for 10 minutes in tins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, whisk icing sugar, remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla, cream and 2 tbsp water until smooth. Pour over kulich, letting some drizzle down the sides. Serve with Easter eggs.