Easter Paska Buns: Recipe #161

In Mennonite communities, Easter paska is a special treat – kids look forward to this sweet iced bread from Oma’s oven. One of our readers Marilyn submitted this recipe for us to experiment with: “A special Easter bread at our house. Have fun trying it out!” It came out as a sumptuous cross between a brioche and a donut. We enjoyed it as a post-hike dessert following our weekend climbs around neighborhood hills.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6.50 total for 4 large, sharable rounds)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp brown sugar – $0.03
1/2 cup hottest tap water – free
1/2 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp soy milk (or milk) – $0.24
3/4 cup brown sugar (or sugar) – $0.39
1/3 cup coconut oil (or butter) – $3.30
2 eggs – $0.58
1/2 tsp vanilla – $0.10
3 3/4 cup flour plus a little for the board – $0.60
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03

2 tbsp apricot jam – $0.32
2 tbsp honey – $0.28
1/4 cup icing sugar to thicken – $0.22

Directions for Easter Paska Buns

1. In a small, non-metal bowl, mix the yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, and hottest tap water. Mix gently and let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom the yeast. In a separate bowl, mix the soy milk, 3/4 cup brown sugar, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla. When the yeast has bloomed nicely, add it to the rest of the wet ingredients and stir to combine.

2. In a large metal bowl, mix the flour and salt together, then make a well in the flour and add the wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon and bring it together into a nice soft dough. It should be fairly sticky. Knead it for 5 minutes, only adding flour if it’s really sticking to your fingers. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a slightly pre-warmed oven to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.

Once it’s doubled, shape it into 4 equal rounds. Cover again and leave to rise in a warm place for 1/2 hour, until doubled.

3. Bake the risen rounds: preheat the oven to 300F. When you put the paska buns in, turn the heat down to 275F. Bake for 25 minutes or until very slightly golden, then remove from the oven. Marilyn says, “I bake them low and slow because it’s a sweet dough.”

Mix all the glaze ingredients together, and when the paska buns are cooled, cover the rounds with the glaze. The glaze recipe above makes enough for 1 round generously covered. If you’re not going to eat all the buns right away, freeze the remaining ones without glaze, then defrost and glaze them when you’re ready to eat. Enjoy the baked brioche-donut Easter paska deliciousness!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 15/18

Thanks for the recipe, Marilyn! If any of you other lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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