In Handy 13:21 01 May 2024

Ukrainian Easter paska bread: delicious holiday solutions

Easter breads are a traditional element in the Easter holidays of Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. Rubryka made a selection of ancient Ukrainian Easter recipes, which residents of different regions of Ukraine shared.

What is the problem?

If you, like us, are also mesmerized by the variety and deliciousness of Ukrainian cuisine, you should definitely try baking traditional Ukrainian Easter bread, paska. Choosing a paska recipe that will not repel complicated processes and working with yeast is not an easy task. We share recipes for traditional paska bread from five regions of Ukraine to help you dive into the deliciousness and sacredness of this traditional Easter dessert.  

At the end of the piece, we share tips to help you avoid common mistakes when baking paska.

What is the solution?
Volyn paska according to the monastery recipe

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Photo: Ms. Stefa's blog


  • 1 kg of flour;
  • 0.5 liters of milk;
  • 50 g of fresh yeast;
  • 6 eggs;
  • 150 g of butter;
  • 0.5 teaspoon of salt;
  • 1 cup of sugar;
  • Vanilla on the tip of a knife or 1 bag of vanilla sugar;
  • 0.5 cups of raisins and candied fruit;
  • Crushed nuts.


  1. Mix the yeast, melted butter, salt, vanilla, flour, and beaten eggs with sugar in warm milk.
  2. Knead until the dough starts to come off your hands. Add raisins and candied fruit and put in a warm place, covered with a towel.
  3. When the dough has doubled in size, mix and put in portions in buttered molds sprinkled with crushed nuts or flour. Fill the forms with dough to a third of the height.
  4. Leave a little dough to roll it out in decorative shapes to later decorate the paska. Let the dough sit for half an hour in a warm place.
  5. Having put your paskas with beaten yolk carefully, without shaking the form so that the dough does not fall, put it in the oven at 160-170°C and bake for about 40 minutes. Carefully remove the baked paska from the mold and let it cool to room temperature.

Paska Slobozhanska

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Photo from the archive of Alla Akymenko

Alla Akymenko from the Sumy region posted on social networks the ancient recipe, which is more than 100 years old. According to her, such paskas are tasty and do not become stale for two weeks. The ingredients specified in the recipe make 7 to 8 fairly large paskas, so you can safely half the recipe if you don't need that many.


  • 130-150 g of yeast (the dough is very buttery, that's why the amount is quite big);
  • 0.5 liters of milk;
  • 0.5 liters of sour cream;
  • 0.5 liters of oil;
  • 300 g of margarine;
  • 15 eggs;
  • 100 ml of vodka;
  • 1 liter jar of sugar;
  • Salt, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest, and raisins to your taste.
  • Flour — "as much as necessary."


  1. To make the dough, dissolve the yeast with a small amount of sugar and flour in half the warm milk needed. Stir it three times as it rises.
  2. After the third time, add the remaining milk, oil, melted margarine, sour cream, beaten eggs, 0.5 liters of sugar, and a little flour. Knead well and leave covered in a warm place.
  3. While the dough is rising, add a handful of flour three times, knead well, and set aside.
  4. Now add the rest of the sugar, salt, vodka, and seasonings (vanilla, cinnamon, zest, raisins — everything to your taste and desire). Sift the flour to make the dough soft.
  5. Now comes the hardest part—knead your dough for at least 40 to 50 minutes until it no longer sticks to your hands. Let the dough double or even triple in size.
  6. Divide the dough and put it in the prepared forms. As soon as the dough doubles in size, brush with yolk and bake at 160-170°C. Check the readiness with a wooden skewer that should come out clean.

Paska from the Khmelnytskyi region

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Photo by Tetyana Kozachenko

Tetyana Kozachenko, a resident of Khmelnytskyi, shared the recipe that she and her relatives have used to bake paska for over a dozen years.

According to the recipe below, you get five large 870g paskas. 


  • 800 ml of milk;
  • 135 g of yeast;
  • 550 g of sugar;
  • 4 eggs;
  • 4 yolks;
  • 100 g of soft butter;
  • 1 cup of oil (210-220 g);
  • 2.250 g of flour;
  • vanilla sugar;
  • pinch of salt


  1. Make the dough: mix milk, yeast, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and flour until it resembles sour cream texture.
  2. Whisk eggs, yolks, remaining sugar, salt, and vanilla sugar, and set the mixture aside for now.
  3. When the dough rises, add eggs, butter, and oil to it and knead it by gradually adding flour. The amount of flour in the recipe is approximate; it may be more or less depending on its quality. The dough should be elastic, not sticky, not too greasy to the touch, rather springy.
  4. Let the dough rise. Divide into forms and let rise again.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 160°C, then cover the top with paper and bake for another 50-80 minutes at 140-150°C. Check readiness with a skewer and ensure the sides are not too light because the paskas are large and can fall after removing them from the oven.

Odesa paska with gelatin glaze 

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Photo by Lyudmyla Kolesnyk

Lyudmyla Kolesnyk is from Odesa. She offers a recipe for a fragrant and moderately moist old paska decorated with a modern glaze on gelatin.


  • 100 g of fresh yeast;
  • 0.5 liters of milk;
  • 380 g of sugar;
  • 12 yolks;
  • 150 g of butter;
  • 200 g of homemade cream;
  • 0.5 teaspoon of salt;
  • 150 g of raisins;
  • zest of 1 lemon;
  • half of the grated nutmeg;
  • 1 bag of vanilla sugar;
  • about 1.7 kg of flour.


  1. For the dough, dissolve yeast, 2 tablespoons of sugar, flour, 4 tablespoons of flour in warm milk.
  2. Mix the ingredients, cover the dough, and let it sit in a warm place for 15 minutes.
  3. Add yolks whisked with sugar and vanilla sugar to the foam consistency, then add cream, salt, lemon zest, and ground nutmeg.
  4. Add flour gradually, and then add soft butter. Knead a soft, elastic dough. Do not add too much flour, but knead well so that it does not stick to your hands. At the end, add pre-steamed raisins.
  5. Cover the dough and put it in a warm place for 2 hours.
  6. Fill the forms to 1/3. Leave in a warm place for the dough to rise.
  7. Brush paskas with egg yolk and milk, and place in an oven preheated to 170°C for 35-50 minutes, depending on the oven and baking form.

Gelatin glaze recipe that hardens instantly and does not crumble

  1. Pour 10 g of gelatin with 2 tablespoons of water.
  2. Boil 200 g of powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons of water for 1-2 minutes, add gelatin, bring to a simmer, but do not boil.
  3. Beat with a mixer, adding 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice and vanilla at the end until the mixture becomes stable.
  4. Put the glaze on the cooled paskas very quickly because it dries really fast.

Transcarpathian paska

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Photo by Oksana Kostyk

In Transcarpathia, according to an ancient custom, Ukrainians bake very buttery but not too sweet paskas. Oksana Kostyk from Irshava shares a traditional recipe for paska, which is baked in her family.


  • 100 g of fresh yeast;
  • 7 egg yolks;
  • 1.3 liters of milk;
  • 200 g of sour cream;
  • 200 g of butter;
  • 100 g of oil;
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar;
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar;
  • 1 tablespoon of salt;
  • 2.5 kg of flour.


  1. Make the dough: dissolve yeast in warm milk, add sugar and 8 spoons of flour from the total amount. Let rise well for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the mixture into twice-sifted flour, add salt, sour cream, beaten egg yolks, vinegar, and knead the dough. At the end of the kneading, add soft butter. It is necessary to knead for a long time, 30 to 40 minutes. While kneading, grease your hands with oil.
  3. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for about an hour.
  4. Then knead the dough with your hands, let it rise, and knead it again to let the air out. This process takes about 2.5 hours. The room must be warm.
  5. When the dough rises a second time, put it in the forms up to a third of the height. Grease the forms with oil so that paskas can be easily removed. Let the dough rise in the molds for 40 to 50 minutes.
  6. After rising, decorate the paska and brush with the yolk. Before baking, add decorations from the lenten dough (flour + water). Do not brush it with an egg.
  7. Bake at a temperature of 165 °C for about an hour. Twenty minutes after the start of baking, cover with foil so that the paskas do not burn. Check readiness with a skewer.

Secret tips for baking paskas

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The photo is illustrative.

  • Ukrainian grandmothers used to say that preparing paska should be approached with bright thoughts and a good mood. In addition, there should be no drafts in the room where the dough is kneaded and raised.
  • The main ingredients for the paska should be at room temperature. Therefore, it is better to prepare them in the evening—take them out and leave them on the table to warm up—and knead the dough in the morning.
  • All flour you work with must be perfectly dry and sifted.
  • The liquids for the paska should be heated to 30-40 °C, and the yeast must be fresh, preferably not dry, but pressed. This way, the paska will stay soft longer.
  • Adding softened fats to the dough at the end of kneading is better. Then, it will come together better.
  • If you want the dough to be yellow, separate the yolks in advance, mix them with 1 teaspoon of salt, cover with cling film, and leave for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. If you only need egg yolks to make the dough, you can freeze the extra whites by pouring them into ice molds. Proteins will not lose their properties and can be stored in this form for several months.
  • The dough for paska must be well kneaded until it stops sticking to the hands. They say, how many times you knead the dough — so many times your parents will praise you.
  • In order for the dough to rise properly, it needs a warm, dark, and quiet place, but in no case, in the heated oven, as yeast dies at a temperature above 50 °C. Tip: You can put the dough in the oven with a lamp on, or with a glass of boiling water — it will heat up the oven up to 30 °C and will help your dough rise.
  • Fill the forms with dough to a third and leave to double in size. In the process of baking, the dough will rise as it should — to the top of the form.
  • Put a wooden skewer in the center so that the top of the paska does not crack and is even. This can also be used to check readiness in the future.

How to decorate paska

Today, we are used to paska being a sweet pastry generously flavored with raisins and dried fruits and decorated with white icing. However, ethnographers say that white sugar glazing is a novelty. It became widespread in the 20th century and came to Ukraine from the tradition of making desserts, rum babkas, and cakes. From time immemorial in Ukraine, ready-to-bake paska was covered with egg yolk and decorated with figures made of lenten dough (water, salt, flour) or from the same dough as paska, only firmer so that the decorations do not lose their shape when baked. In some regions, such a tradition has survived, such as Transcarpathia.

You can use this method, or you can let your imagination run wild because fashion and trends exist even in baking paskas. Modern cooks have come up with hundreds of ways to decorate paska — dried fruits and nuts, marshmallows, and macaroons, flowers and figures made of sugar, and much more can be attached to white fondant. In general, there are no restrictions on the decoration of paskas — the main thing is that they remind people of the holiday and bring aesthetic pleasure.

If you want to add brightness, drizzle melted chocolate over the top or add a drop or two of food coloring or beet juice at the end of the glaze preparation.

Have a tasty paska and happy Easter!

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