Here I am !! Back to blogging after nearly a year ! And there's nothing to blame but my pure laziness..:)
Although I'd stopped posting things on my blog for such a long time but I've been continuously baking and cooking like crazy through my disappearance... Anyway, I chose this Russian bread as my return for no reason ! It's just come at the right time on doing such a right thing..
Anyway, what inspired me to bake this bread is my daughter. The story is that she's been taking art lessons and her teacher happens to be a Russian. One day she came home from her art class and saw me busy with making nanaiomi bars (which is a canadian sweet )..so when I told her what I was making ( for her teachers at her Canadian International School! ), she then asked me if I could make something about Russian for her russian art teacher...I could, of course, say nothing but 'yes' !
A simple reason why I chose to make this bread is beacause it's around Easter season.. As for a verdict, all of my tasters were really satisfied with the outcome ! That's why I thought this is worth being the first posting of my return ..
Ps. this bread has been posted to yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wildyeast
Kulich ( Makes 2 medium-sized kulich )
• 150ml milk
• 250g bread flour
• 10g fresh baker's yeast
Mix everything, cover and leave to ferment overnight at ambient temperature.
• 150ml milk
• 100g bread flour
• 30g fresh baker's yeast
The next day, mix the ingredients together and then add to the first sponge. Leave it to ferment for an hour, until the surface is bubbly.
• 650g bread flour
• 1 pinch salt
• 50ml vodka
• 100ml honey
• 100g vanilla sugar
• 250g butter, at ambient temperature
• 4 eggs
• 150g sultanas
• 100g raisins
• 1 tsp saffron threads
• Zest of 2 lemons
• 50g candied peel
• 100g blanched almonds
• 15-20 cardamom pods
1-1.5 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp water
splash of lemon juice
1.While the second sponge is rising, prepare the rest of the ingredients. First put the saffron to soak in the vodka. Coarsely chop the almonds and zest the lemons. Cut the candied peel in small pieces. Open the cardamom pods and grind the seeds in a mortar or coffee grinder.
2.Mix all the liquid ingredients, which must be at ambient temperature. Warm up the honey if needed to make it more fluid. Add the vodka with the saffron and the eggs. Mix the liquids with the second sponge and then add the rest of the flour, the salt and the ground cardamom.
3.Knead thoroughly till you have a homogeneous and smooth dough. Then add the butter cut in chunks. Knead to incorporate the butter.
4.Once the gluten has developed, add the raisins, sultanas, almonds, lemon zest and candied peel. Distribute them evenly.
5.Form the dough into a ball, then place it into an oiled bowl and leave to double in bulk (around an hour).
6.Prepare the molds in the meantime. Line the inside with parchment paper, cut a circle for the bottom and a large strip for the sides. Let the paper extend over the tin edge as needed if the tin is not tall enough. Use double paper if you like.
7.When the dough has doubled, divide it in two; then loosely shape each portion into a cylinder that can be inserted into the mold. Let it carefully fall inside and press it a little bit to fill all the gaps. The tin should be half full approximately.
8.Leave to proof again, loosely covered in plastic so that the dough has place to rise 3-4cm above the tin or paper edge.
9.Heat the oven to 170-180 ºC. Then bake for around 40 minutes. Check for doneness with a wooden skewer. If the kulich tops brown too quickly, cover them with foil.
10.When they're done, take them out and leave to rest in the mold for 15 minutes. Then carefully tip the molds onto a wire rack and extract them from the mold in a horizontal position. Put them in an upright position and check that they're set enough to stand (otherwise they would need some more time in the oven).
11.You can optionally ice them with a glazing mixture once they've cooled.