Kulich – Russian Easter Bread

My mother makes Kulich (Russian Easter Bread) and Seerney Paska (a yummy sweet cheese, cream spread) every Easter. The white pyramid looking thing with the cross on it is the Seerney Paska. I don’t have a special mold so mine looks like a rounded dome. I’m including a recipe for the spread and a link to a recipe for Kulich. We eat the bread with the paska or slather it with sour-cream. My mom’s is the best and we’ve documented how she makes it and hopefully we’ll continue the tradition. You use empty, clean, 1 or 2 lb. coffee tins to bake the bread in.

Update for Easter 2008 ~ I’ll be adding my mother’s recipe for Kulich before Easter this year. Click here for the recipe.

Seerney Paska

Ingredients:   18 – hard boiled eggs / 3 pounds Farmers cheese / 1 pint whipping cream / 3 cubes unsalted butter (12 oz.) / 3 cups sugar /

Press the Farmers cheese through a sieve. (This is the hardest part of the recipe) I usually use a wooden spoon and press it through a wire strainer a little at a time. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. (You will not be using the whites). Press the egg yolks through the sieve. Cream the sugar and butter together. Beat in the egg yolks. Beat in the cheese. Add whipping cream and mix well. You will place the mixture into a strainer lined with about 3 layers of cheesecloth. You will need enough cheesecloth to wrap up and over the top of the cheese. Place the cheese mixture into the cheese cloth lined strainer. Bring the ends of the cheese cloth up and tie the ends on top of the cheese in a knot. Place the sieve into a larger bowl suspended with enough room for the cheese to drain without sitting in the drained liquid. Place a plate on top of the cheese an place a heavy rock, brick, or other weight on top of the plate. Refrigerate over night.

Update #1: I used a plastic flower pot for my Seerney Paska and added more holes to the bottom. I got the shape I wanted and it drained well.

New tip: Use a potatoe ricer instead of a wire strainer for the egg yolks.

Update #2: This Seerney Paska recipe is for a huge amount (enough for my huge extended family). If you just want a normal amount, cut the recipe in thirds. (6 cooked egg yolks, 1-lb. cheese, 2/3 cup whipping cream, 1 cube butter and 1 cup sugar. Enjoy!

Tip #2: If you don’t get around to baking Kulich you can substitute a good Panettone for the bread. Hard to find this time of year because most stores stock it at Christmas, not Easter. If you are fortunate to have a Italian food store near you they seem to stock it year round. I bought the most plain one I could find (not easy) It had raisens and candied orange and lemon bits in it. It was a good substitute nevertheless!

ht: Vera Titov/Nadia Bagdanov ~ recipe for Seerney Paska

15 thoughts on “Kulich – Russian Easter Bread

  1. What fun! I didn’t realize Russian Easter bread was eaten with Seerney Paska. We’ve baked Kulich at Easter in the past, in large coffee tins. Is that how your mother makes it? It’s delicious. Maybe I’ll try it again this year. Thanks for the recipe!!! :~)

  2. Hi emom,
    Yes, my mother saves those coffee cans. She makes huge batches so she can give one to each of us kids and husbands/wives and then smaller ones for all her grandkids. Since we moved to Washington they ship us our bread overnight! I’ve mastered the seerney paska but haven’t quite done the bread on my own. I’ll have to do that one of these years. So happy to hear of another blogger that knows about Kulich!

  3. I’ve found kulich at Russian delicatessans sometimes european deli’s here in the Seattle area that sell ready made kulich. They aren’t as good as mom’s! I’m pretty challenged in the bread dept., myself.

  4. My grandmother acquired these recipes back in the 1920’s when she lived in Europe. She made then every year I can recall until I took over the responsibility when she was in her 90’s.

    My daughter, now almost 17, will make these with me today and we’ll share with our family, including my mother (the “cooking” challenged generation in our family) on Sunday.

    I’m glad to see that we are in good company!

  5. My sister and I are going to start making our own kulich starting next year (Lord willing). We’re making seerney paska today. It’s time for us to carry on the tradition. Thanks for stopping by Meghan. Happy Easter to you.

  6. Connie – I would love to see your Russian black bread recipe!! I love it and can’t find a good recipe anywhere…
    I just finished my Easter Cheese an hour ago – hopefully it will set by Sunday morning!

  7. Thank you for sharing the Seerney Paska recipe, but I was wonder if you could be more specific about how much three cubes of butter is. Are you meaning sticks?

    erin, Yes sticks!

  8. In the past I tried to bake kulichi. One year it was a disaster, but the next year it was a success! However, I found that it was a lot of work and occupies a lot of my precious time. So, I substituted it with the spiced and filled with fruits Italian Christmas cake called Panatoni. Luckily, in Kingston this type of cake is available also during the Easter time.

    I ice, decorate, write on it ‘XB’ and put a little nest of fluffly yellow chikcs for my granddaughter. She is also delighted with the little chocolate eggs in a colourful foil around a special plate on which this cake is placed. My daughter and the rest of my family do not know much about Russian tradition and our kitchen and they are delighted with this cake. I usually make two or three that everyone can take it home.

    Natasha

  9. Where do you find the Farmer’s Cheese? My dad is driving me crazy looking for this and I’ve purchased two different kinds – but they’re not what he wants. Is there a certain brand name I could search for?

    • I buy the dry curd cheese at a Russian deli here in Washington. I’m picking up some today. It has a Russian name on it and I’ll let you know. If you can find a dry cottage cheese that should work, too.

  10. It’s tough to inherit the wealth eh?
    Unfortunately the recipe is never clear.
    I think I’ve masted the Kulichi … now on to the syrnaya paska.
    It’s all about the correct cottage cheese.
    This can make the difference between success and gravel.
    I’m going to look for it at a Russian store in Montréal tomorrow.
    I inherited a beautiful wooden mold, XB included.
    Saturday is show time. It takes 24 hours to drain.
    Here’s what i’m working with: Xristos Voskrese!
    12 egg yolks
    2 Cups X fine sugar
    2K cottage cheese – Tvorog
    500ml sour cream
    1/2 lb butter softened @ room temperature
    2 Vanilla beans – finely minced
    Directions:
    – combine first 2 into a gogol mogol
    – prepare tvorog …- strain though 4 layers cheese cloth for 3x hours … pasoir 2x
    – hand-mix them all w/sour cream and butter
    – slow cook / small flame to boil, stirring constantly
    – transfer into a bowl to cool
    – add vanilla
    – pour into mold and refrigerate (w/a weight on top) for 24 hours

  11. Hi! My mum used to make paska with homemade evaporated milk cream cheese which had a rich flavour, also it was a beige colour from the evaporated milk cream cheese. Unfortunately she has been deceased for some years and I do not have a recipe, searching online. I would love to have the recipe if someone knows it

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