When I was growing up, Easter was a special holiday to me. Having grown up in a Russian Orthodox family, I was unfamiliar with the Easter Bunny and the Egg Hunt and the colorful bird-candy. Instead, I got to eat a lot of hard-boiled eggs (my favorite food as a child), and – most importantly – pull an all-nighter at the local Eastern Orthodox church during the overnight service. Being a kid and having a strict bedtime, the all-nighter was the most exciting part for me. There were always other kids at the church, who were just as excited to be out of the house all night and play.
These days I no longer live in the same community and no longer go to church for Easter. But every year, I still try to make traditional Russian Easter foods. My most favorite is the Kulich. Some people also call it Paska or Paskha. It’s a tall, sweet bread often filled with almonds and/or raisins, topped with a thin sweet icing and sprinkles. There are different variations of it, and different families have different recipes, but that’s the general idea.
Needless to say, it is not Paleo. Luckily, I’ve managed to re-create the recipe with Paleo ingredients, and I’m happy to share it with you here. You should still have this in moderation, of course, like all paleo desserts. But I think it’s totally ok to have this once a year, for the sake of the tradition!
It goes well with any meal, but especially with a hot cup of Earl Grey! I hope this helps those of you who also grew up eating Kulichi for Easter and have been looking for a healthier way to make them. I also hope those of you who have never tried a Kulich before might be inspired to give it a go! It’s sweet, fun, and delightful!
Paleo Kulich2015-03-20 22:38:12Yields 1A healthier version of the Kulich/Paskha Russian Easter bread (paleo)Write a reviewSave RecipePrintPrep Time1 hr 20 min Cook Time1 hr Prep Time1 hr 20 min Cook Time1 hr For the bread
- 1.5 cups coconut milk (or whole milk)
- 6 eggs
- 1 package active dry yeast (about 2 tbsp)
- 1 cup honey
- 5 cups almond flour
- 2 tbsp flax seed
- 1.5 cups dry fruit/raisins/nuts
- 4 tbsp dark rum
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 0.5 tsp powdered saffron
For the icing
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (slightly melted)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (or whole milk)
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
For the bread
- In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup warm water (mineral works best) with warm coconut (or whole) milk and the active dry yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes.
- Add eggs, rum, vanilla, salt, and saffron. Mix ingredients to combine.
- Gradually, add in the almond flour, mixing continuously to avoid clumps. Add the flax seed.
- By now, you should have a thick dough. Remove it from the bowl and place onto a clean, flat surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Then place it in a large greased bowl.
- Cover and leave in a warm spot for about an hour. You should see the dough rise significantly.
- Preheat oven to 210 F.
- Mix the fruits and almonds into the dough and knead for another few minutes, until they are evenly distributed through the dough.
- Place the dough into a tall greased cylindrical container. You can use a big empty coffee can or buy some tall baking pans online. Alternatively, you can use 2 regular cake pans.
- Place it in the oven for about 15 minutes to quickly raise the dough a little more.
- Turn up the heat to 350 and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the top turns golden brown. Adjust time according to your container size.
For the icing
- Mix melted coconut oil with honey, coconut milk (or whole), lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until it is smooth, but runny.
- When the bread comes out of the oven, pour the icing mixture on top. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and leftover dried fruit (optional). Let cool.
- Enjoy and happy Easter!
By Paleo BabeThe Paleo Babe http://www.thepaleobabe.com/