Paska Easter Bread
150 ml Milk
105g All-Purpose Flour
25g Fresh Yeast
550g All-Purpose Flour
150 ml Milk
2 Medium Eggs
100g Melted Butter
400g Cream Cheese
3 Tbsps. Sugar
3 Tbsps. Semolina
Dissolve 25 grams of fresh yeast in 150 millilitres of warm milk. Stir well until the yeast is fully dissolved. To this, gradually incorporate 100-105 grams of all-purpose flour while constantly stirring the mixture. Sprinkle some more flour on top, cover with a clean kitchen towel and set it aside for 30 minutes.
After half an hour, take 550 grams of all-purpose flour in a bowl and add the prepared yeast mixture in the middle. Pour in 150 millilitres of warm milk, 2 medium beaten eggs and 1 tablespoon of honey. Knead the dough until all the ingredients are well-combined.
While kneading the dough, add in 90 grams of sugar and the flavours including lemon and orange zest and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Continue to knead the dough until the sugar is incorporated.
Lastly, add in 100 grams of melted butter and knead the dough until it achieves an elastic texture. Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm place until it has doubled its size.
In a bowl, add 400 grams of cream cheese, 2 beaten eggs, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 100 grams of raisins and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Mix everything together until fully combined.
For preparing the paska bread, first of all, grease your working surface in order to prepare the dough. Divide the dough into small pieces and roll out to make the paska base. Line the baking pan with parchment paper and grease it with oil. Place the pastry base in the pan and press it gently.
Divide the remaining dough into small equal pieces. Roll each piece into a small ball. Place the balls on the outer edge of the base. Next, add 3 tablespoons of semolina to the cream cheese filling and mix well. Pour the filling in the centre of the pastry base. Grease the dough with some milk. Sprinkle some brown sugar or regular sugar on top.
After this, bake it at 170⁰ C for about 40 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and transfer it to a serving tray. Your creamy and delicious paska bread is ready to eat.