I've been getting lots of hits on my regular blog for google searches for these, so I thought I'd re-post the recipes for those preparing for this Sunday's big feast! I make a Pascha bread (Easter bread) every year, along with the cheese spread. We always eat every crumb.
Paska Bread (from the Lenten cookbook Food for Paradise, adapted for home use)
2 packages dry yeast (or 4 teaspoons)
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 cup melted butter
¾ cup milk
5 cups unbleached white flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Dissolve yeast in water and set aside. Combine in a large bowl butter and milk. Sift together white flour, sugar, and salt. Add the yeast mixture to the cooled wet ingredients. Beat eggs and add alternately with the dry ingredients. Knead until smooth, adding flour as needed. Let rise until doubled in bulk; it rises quite quickly and high. Punch down, knead and put into prepared greased pans (use a big round pan, or a couple of smaller pans). Allow to rise until doubled in bulk. Decorate the tops with crosses made from rolled dough. Brush the tops with diluted egg. Bake in preheated 350 oven for about an hour. Remove from the pan while hot, running a knife around the edges if necessary. Gently tip loaves out onto towels and cool on racks. This traditionally is not frosted or baked with fruit.Delicious slathered with the Pascha cheese.
Cream Cheese Paskha (also adapted from Food for Paradise)
1 pound softened cream cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
golden raisins (optional)
slivered almonds (optional)
Cream the butter and add the cheese, continuing to cream them both. Add sugar and vanilla. Next stir in the sour cream and raisins and almonds in desired quantities (I never use the raisins or almonds). Spoon into bowls and decorate the top. This will keep for about a week in the fridge....I think. Our supply usually peters out about 5 days after Pascha. It is delicious as a spread on Pascha bread or bagels.
Kali Anastasi! (A Good Resurrection!)