Thursday, March 20, 2008

paska party...

Every holiday comes with it's traditions and favorite Easter it's paska.

Paska (based on the Hebrew word for passover) is a rich, sweet bread...baked in loaves of all shapes and sizes and decorated with icing and sprinkles. It is a traditional Mennonite food...baked by all the mothers for many generations before me. There's enough paska lovers in our household, that it's a tradition that won't be dying out anytime soon!


1 1/2 cups potato stock
4 Tablespoons yeast
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
1 cup butter
10 eggs, well beaten
1 lemon (rind and juice)
1 orange (rind and juice)
2 teaspoons salt
flour (about 12 cups)

Dissolve yeast in potato water with 2 tsp. sugar added.

Scald milk in microwave for 2 minutes...add butter and stir until butter is melted.
Grate rind of lemon & orange...squeeze juice of each.

Combine all above ingredients in large bowl, together with beaten eggs and sugar.

Mix well. Add flour to make a medium soft dough.

Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.

Place on well greased pans (form loaves or buns).

Allow to rise again until doubled.
Bake at 325 (about 25 minutes for loaves - 15 minutes for buns).

Spread with icing of your with sprinkles!


~ I use a Bosch mixer, and therefore have no idea how long to knead...I just add flour until the dough is the right consistency. I forgot to measure, so I'm not sure how much I actually used...despite what the recipe says!

~I took a hint from Lovella's paska recipe, and threw my orange and lemon into a blender this year (worked great).

~It is really important to grease the pans well, as the bread tends to stick to the pan.

~I find the sweet dough takes much longer to rise than other have patience!

While the paska was still in the oven, I saw three grandchildren coming across the fields (I think they could smell it!). It was rather special, since this was the first time Ryder had walked the distance with his sisters (it's quite a trek for a two-year-old!).

No sooner were the paska buns out of the oven, than my helpers were busy decorating them. We had us a wonderful afternoon 'tea party'...

...Ryder decided he was quite OK with this Easter tradition (especially the icing part!). He was in need of a bath when his snack was done...and his glasses got a good cleaning. When our 'paska party' was over, they left for home with a take-home bag to share with mommy & daddy.

Traditional paska were baked in coffee tins and loaf pans of all shapes and sizes. I prefer paska buns...they're so much easier to serve. But I always do a few traditional loaves...because hubby's favorite is toasted paska.

Baking paska isn't something that happens in five minutes, but it's worth the effort! It's all about making memories and keeping a sweet tradition!


  1. How Fun!!
    I'm thinking that maybe you could start a new site, "Baking Traditional Menno Foods"
    Then on these occasions we could just order them from you.
    Our weekend is packed with all sort of fun things. Grandkids make is so much more exciting..

  2. Oh dear! This is something I keep stumbling back upon and just when I think that I've made my escape...

    Paska looks amazing! And it has to be delicious to have the recipe down through the generations. I'll have to check your recipe against Lovella's to see which to try. I don't know...perhaps they are the same...same family, right? LOL!

    Your grands are adorable. Yay for Ryder for making such a trek! And yay for big sisters to get him safely there!

  3. Hi Judy...Your Paska looks delicious! are quite the baker..but most of all I love the little faces of the are so right...the continuity of tradition is most important...Happy Spring!...Dee Dee

  4. Oh shoot - Ben and I visited too early... we missed paska and the kids!!!!!!! It looks delicious, maybe I should attempt my own?!!

  5. I can just imagine the wonderful smell of the Paska baking....and how delicious it must taste. My sister baked some for the first time when Lovella posted her recipe recently...she says they are fantastic. I'm tempted to try it, but I would eat too many of them and wipe away the benefits of these past weeks of walking (smile).


  6. Paska looks great..and I'm sure the aroma wafting through your house is just wonderful!!
    The children are so cute enjoying the buns..or icing?? lol
    Today I made a recipe of peppernut buns with icing and sprinkles and they all disappeared...must bake some more on Saturday.
    Happy Easter to you Judy and your family!

  7. Yummy! And what cute pictures!


  8. Would you believe that TODAY is Paska day here? Finally! I couldn't allow my beautiful lemons to pass nor the yeast.

    I've found it labor intensive! LOL! (The joke here is that I find all cooking and baking labor intensive.) The bread is on its first rising. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  9. SK - my grandma always made this in loaves, sliced, spread with icing and dipped in crushed corn flakes or special K cereal... I may just try this for my boys this Easter! :)


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