My grandma would start the dough the night before, let it rise overnight and wake up well before dawn to make all kinds of goodies – filled pastries, sweet and savoury, cinnamon buns and kulich. Waking up to the sweet aroma of freshly baked bread is one of my favourite childhood memories. My grandma’s baking was the best – none of my friends’ grandmas came even close. Unfortunately, she never wrote down any recipes. I didn’t think any recipe could top my grandma’s and I almost feel guilty for saying this, but this adapted recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen, a blog I love, is without a doubt the most luxurious kulich I have ever had. The first loaf was gone within hours… thank goodness the recipe makes three!
- 265 ml milk, warmed
- 6 eggs
- 3 tsp active dry yeast
- 400 g caster sugar
- 250 g unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 1.125 kg plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1½ cup chocolate chips, raisins, candied citrus peel or nuts (see Note)
- 200 g white chocolate, melted
- sprinkles, to decorate
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.
Resting time 6 hours
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine the warm milk, eggs, yeast, sugar, melted butter, sour cream, vanilla and salt. Add 500 g flour and stir to form a batter consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and set aside in a warm place for 2 hours or until yes.
Add the remaining 625 g flour, one cup at a time, or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands and is soft and elastic. Stir in the chocolate chips, raisins, candied citrus peel and/or nuts. Cover and set aside in a warm place for a further 2 hours or until risen.
Divide the dough evenly among 3 x 20 cm greased deep round baking pans, trying not to handle the dough too much. Let the dough rise, uncovered, in a warm place for a further 2 hours or until you see a significant rise.
Preheat oven to 180˚C and bake loaves for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.
Once the loaves are at room temperature, make the glaze. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently boiling water (don’t let the bowl touch the water).
Cover the tops of the bread with the melted white chocolate, then decorate with the sprinkles. Set aside for 10 minutes or until set.
• You can use a mixture of chocolate chips, raisins, candied citrus peel or nuts, or just one of the ingredients – it’s up to you.
Recipe from Vikalinka by Julia Frey, with photography by Julia Frey.
Read our interview with Julia and find more recipes from her blog here.