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Category: Desserts

Kulich

Kulich
Los Angeles Times

"This is when you wish you had one of those Russian grandmothers on hand, the ones who've been making kulich all their lives," says Nick Coe, kneading a huge mass of heavy dough. The traditional Russian Easter cake is usually ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes plus 3 1/2 hours standing | Serves 12
Note: Kulich is such a tall cake that it will slump as it cools. To keep it neat and cylindrical, rest it on a pillow and turn it regularly; cover the pillow with parchment paper or plastic wrap to prevent a grease spot. You can find 2-pound coffee cans at Smart & Final stores. Although the recipe callsfor uncooked eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found them to be a potential carrier of food-borne illness and recommends that infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems avoid raw eggs.

Cake

  • 4 (1/4-ounce) packets yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, plus more for kneading
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, scraped
  • Ground nutmeg
  • 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter, plus more for greasing
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs, for coating coffee can

Step 1Dissolve yeast in water.

Step 2Mix together milk, salt, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 1/2 cups flour in large bowl with wooden spoon. When yeast bubbles, add and let mixture rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Step 3Mix egg yolks, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, scraped vanilla bean and dash nutmeg.

Step 4Combine butter, lemon zest and saffron. Melt butter mixture gently in skillet over low heat, or microwave until warm but not boiling.

Step 5Stir butter into flour sponge. Add egg mixture. Gradually add remaining 3 cups flour and knead thoroughly on floured surface at least 10 minutes. Place in large mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and towel and set in warm place such as gas oven with pilot light on until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours; or leave in refrigerator overnight.

Step 6Grease inside of 2-pound coffee can, add bread crumbs and rotate to coat. Pour out excess crumbs. Fill can 1/3 full with dough. Cover and let rise again until doubled, 1 hour.

Step 7Bake Kulich on bottom rack of oven at 325 degrees until golden brown, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Step 8Remove Kulich from oven and gently slide out of can. Cover pillow with plastic wrap and lay Kulich on its side on pillow. Rotate 1/4 way every 10 minutes until cool. Set on plate to frost.

Royal icing

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds

Step 1Beat egg white until frothy. Beat in sugar and lemon juice on medium speed until thick and glossy, about 3 minutes. Pour over top of cooled Kulich so top is coated and dribbles run down sides. Decorate icing with raisins and almonds before it sets.

Step 2To serve, slice horizontally through middle of Kulich, remove slices as desired and then replace top. Serve with Paskha.

Each serving:
457 calories; 234 mg sodium; 118 mg cholesterol; 15 grams fat; 74 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.46 gram fiber.
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