Winter Sun is soothing and comforting. Last weekend we were out on a trip near a forest. We went out on a bird watching walk in the morning. The air was crisp, fresh and cold.
We walked on the dew-laden grassy narrow track bordered by the lantana bushes.
Different colours and shades of Lantana were mesmerizing.
Far in the forest, we spotted a bunch of langurs (black-faced monkeys) sunning themselves in the higher branches of a tree.
Walking in the forest is therapeutic.
The scent of the foliage, wildflowers and the warmth of the Sun is pure heaven.
It is late afternoon. We are soaking in the Sun. The heat of the Sun will soon wane and the cold wave will take over our world. Our home is smelling heavenly as the Slovak Paska is baking and the yeasty aroma is wafting through.
Soon the timer chimed. Kids rushed to see the bread. We squealed with joy to see a beautiful golden fragrant bread out of the oven. We sliced the bread next morning and loved it.
Holiday and festival bread takes many decorative shapes. Paska is baked around Easter and is traditionally eaten in Eastern European countries. Paska is often paired with a custard-like cheese or a delicious cream cheese spread.
The original recipe calls for an egg. I have omitted the egg. I used a blend of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. In place of egg wash, I brushed the bread with milk wash. Recipe adapted from www.kingarthurflour.com
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 ½ tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoons instant dry yeast
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ stick (about 25 grams) + 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Mix ¾ cup water and sugar and add yeast. Give a stir, cover and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Add milk to this mix.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flours and salt. Add butter and mix well with hands.
- Add liquid ingredients and knead for 5-6 minutes. If the dough feels dry or a little hard, add more water (from the remaining ¼ cup warm water)
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Turn around once so that it is coated with oil all around.
- Cover and keep in a warm place for about 1 ½ hour or until noticeably puffy.
- Turn dough onto a floured counter and divide dough into two pieces, one twice as large as the other.
- Roll the larger piece into a ball and place in a greased and dusted 8 inch round cake pan.
- To shape the larger piece into a ball, use your thumb and the palms of your hands to stretch the surface of the dough downwards. Stretch the skin on top and tuck it in. Idea is to stretch the gluten and create surface tension. A taut skin helps the bread to maintain the shape during the second rise enabling the bread to rise up and not spread sideways.
- Divide the smaller piece of dough into three parts. Roll out each part into thin long strands. Pinch the strands at the top and make a long braid. We need two braids. Cut the long braid into two. Pinch ends. Tuck the end under the big bread, run it over the top and tuck the other end on the other side.
- Repeat with the second dough
- Cover and keep in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Brush the top of the bread gently with milk wash and bake for 35-40 minutes. Tent with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
- Remove from the oven, cool on a rack. Slice when cold.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Our host this month is Kalyani who blogs at sizzlingtastebuds She chose to bake holiday breads from around the world made healthier with wholegrain flours. This was a lovely ides Kalyani. It made the bread healthier.
Here are the recipes of other members-
100% Whole Wheat Bread from Cook's Hideout
Eggless Whole Wheat Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls from Spill the Spices
Gingerbread and Oatmeal Bread from Mayuri's Jikoni
Kamut Cloverleaf Rolls from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Key-Shaped Challah with Finger Millet from Sara's Tasty Buds
Khameeri Puri from Sneha's Recipe
Oats Whole Wheat Bread from The Mad Scientist's Kitchen
Santa Lucia Buns from Karen's Kitchen Stories
Slovak Pasca from Ambrosia
Spelt Banana Bread from Food Lust People Love
Whole Wheat Grissini from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Whole Wheat Stollen from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
Wholewheat Garlic Flavoured Monkey Bread from Sizzling Tastebuds
Here are the recipes of other members-