Russian Easter Bread (Kulich)
It is traditional to make the design XV meaning "Christ is risen" on
top of each of these little towering loaves.
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
3/4 cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cut-up mixed candied fruit
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar,
salt, eggs, shortening, raisins, candied fruit, almonds, lemon peel
and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining
flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured
surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm
place until double, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Dough is ready if indentation
remains when touched.
Punch dough down; divide into halves. Shape each half into round
bun-shaped loaf. Place in two well-greased 3-pound shortening cans.*
Let rise until double, 40 to 50 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cans on low rack so that
midpoint of each can is in center of oven. Bake until tops are
golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. If tops brown too quickly, cover
loosely with aluminum foil. Cool 10 minutes.
Remove from cans. Spoon Lemon Icing over tops of warm bread,
allowing some to drizzle down sides. Trim with tiny decorating
candies if desired.
* Two (46-ounce) juice cans can be substituted for the 3-pound
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon warm water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix confectioners' sugar, water and lemon juice until smooth. Icing
should be of glaze consistency. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons water if