Kulich (Russian Easter pie) is a staple on Orthodox Easter. There are so many recipes that it makes the choice really difficult.
Here we post our traditional family recipe.
The secret of it is to make choux pastry by mixing flour with boiling milk, honey and butter and then to combine it with regular dough. The dough is also rolled out on sugar-dusted working area. This procedure makes the pastry airy and layered and gives it yellow and creamy color, just like any true kulich should look.
The ingredients below make two medium pies.
Ingredients for Choux Pastry Easter Pie
- 3-3.3 lb (1.5 kg) flour
- 6 eggs
- 500 ml milk
- 300 g sugar
- 2.5 tablespoons dry yeast
- 250 g butter
- 5 tablespoons thick cream or sour cream
- 70 g raisins
- 50 g pine nuts
- 1 tablespoons honey
- Vanilla to taste
- Salt, 2 pinches
- Start with mixing one glass of flour with 1 glass of boiling hot milk and a tablespoonful of honey.
- In a saucepan, melt butter and bring it to boil. Then add choux pastry and stir intensively until butter is smoothly mixed with the pastry. Make sure the heat is very low.
- Now turn the heat off and let the pastry warm down.
- In the meantime, mix yeast with warm milk in a pot or a large bowl.
- Pour in a glass of sugar, vanilla, cream (or sour cream), salt and knead soft dough, adding flour gradually.
- Then combine cool choux pastry and knead together well. Keep kneading for about 15 minutes.
- Now separate the whites from the yolks. Beat the whites with a pinch of salt until fluffy.
- Knead in the yolks one at a time until smoothly mixed with the dough.
- Now that the yolks are mixed, add beaten whites and knead thoroughly with hands for additional 10 minutes.
- Knead until soft and slightly sticky.
- Form a ball and put it into a large bowl. Cover with wet towel. Put in a warm place for 3-4 hours. As the dough rises, kneed it one or two times, and add raisings and pignoli at the end.
- Now dust the table with a few tablespoonfuls of flour and a half glass of sugar. Knead the dough again for about 15 minutes, pounding it against the table occasionally. The more you knead, the more airy the dough.
- Then divide the dough in half and put in large bowls. Let rise for 30-40 minutes.
- Then garnish the top with dough strips, pine nuts and rub with the yolk.
- Transfer into pre-heated oven (350 degrees). Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust gets slightly brown and reduce the temperature to (280-300 degrees). Bake for about an hour. Make sure the pies are not overbaked. Check doneness by piercing the pies with a wooden toothpick. If it comes out dry, the pie is ready.
- Let cool and then cut.