Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Preparation

This has been one of those weeks where everything got turned upside down.

Spring sprung a leak, and churned a winter storm in our area with ice and snow to blanket our earth once more.

Our girls got sick. All three were home on Monday, with the youngest still home on Tuesday. Fevers and swollen glands, the culprits.

As a result, I'm behind on my writing goals, behind on my Easter treasure hunt hints to be stuffed inside the eggs, and behind on my Easter baking and all round Easter preparation.

Today I'll be baking Paska for the neighbors, so I thought I'd share my recipe with you all. If you try it out, let me know what you think. It's one of our family's favorites. (Hint: I make Fruit Pavlova with the left-over egg whites. The girls love this as an Easter dessert.)

Paska (Easter Bread)

4 to 5 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup warm (not hot) water
2 tsp. sugar
1 pkgs. active dry yeast
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

Measure flour onto square of wax paper. Sprinkle yeast over warm water (2 tsp. sugar mixed in water) in large bowl. Allow to stand 10 minutes, stir thoroughly. Add melted butter, sugar, salt, and beaten whole eggs and yolks, and 1 cup flour. Mix in remaining flour till soft dough is formed.

Knead on lightly floured surface till smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, cover and allow to rise in warm place till doubled (about 2 hours). Punch down, divide in 2 (reserving a couple tiny balls of dough). Place in 2 greased 3 lb. shortening tins, or round cake pans. From the reserved dough, form a cross on the center of each loaf, and on top of the cross form a crown. Press this motive gently in place. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 F for about 35 minutes. When baked, turn out of tins immediately and cool on racks.

The Paska Story: Jesus is the Bread of Life. Eggs are symbolic of new life. Most of the liquid in this bread is eggs; so Paska is symbolic of the new life in Christ. The loaf is round to remind us that God's love always surrounds us with no beginning and no ending. The cross topped with a crown reminds us of Christ's victory over the cross and reassures us that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life. The paschal lamb was the sacrificial lamb, and the name of the loaf reminds us that Christ died for our sins so we can have a more abundant life. Some of each batch of Paska must always be given away to remind us to share the Joy of Living for Jesus.

I sure hope you enjoy this if you get a chance to make it, and that you bless a neighbor or friend with a shared portion.

Surrendering to Him,



Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Eileen,
The Paska bread sounds like a great tradition! We are heading out of town for Easter to be with family, so I'll get to leave the baking to my mother this year--which is always kind of nice!

Hope your girls are all on the mend and that you and your family have a blessed Easter!

Jessica said...

I hope you all feel better. I've never heard of Paska before and am not looking forward to having to bake when my kids are older. Glad you like it though. :-)

Deanna Price said...

Thanks so much for the words of wisdom. I think I'm going to do that very thing, take a break. I hope you and your family has a very happy Easter.