THIS RECIPE IS NOT MY OWN !!
The long Easter weekend was a very busy one in my kitchen and I made this on Easter Monday as the grand finale dish. I found it on a blog that I follow that has some very interesting Russian recipes. The bread was more like a cake and was amazing as it came out of the oven. We ate it all up in the week to follow so I’d say it was as success.
1. It is a very nice recipe but be warned that it takes a while to make. I started at 9 in the morning and the cake was ready at 3:30pm.
2. There are 3 stages of rising so don’t rush it – it is worth the wait.
3. “Poolish” is the French name for a fermentation starter.
1. I halved the recipe to get one standard loaf tin worth of cake.
2. I used only 1/2 the recommended sugar in the recipe.
3. I didn’t have rum so used brandy instead.
4. I used sultanas and slivered almonds which went quite nicely in the cake.
5. I didn’t use any icing as neither my partner nor I care much for it.
Tips and Avoiding mishaps:
1. To make the batter rise on a cold English day, I used my old trick of keeping the oven at 50 degrees while mixing the ingredients and then turning it off just before placing the bowl in it. Worked like a charm (Pictures 9, 20 and 23).
2. The batter rises a LOT as I learnt the hard way (Picture 23). So do use a deep dish if you can. If not, build a strong baking paper and silver foil fortress in your baking dish before pouring the batter in it.
3. I found all the raisins settle in the bottom layer of the cake (Picture 27 – it is upside down so the raisins are on top). There were 2 reasons for this
(a) I forgot to add the raisins to the batter before pouring it into my loaf tin so don’t do that
(b) I’ve always dusted raisins/fruit in flour before mixing it into batter which I again forgot as I was following the recipe religiously.
So toss the fruit in half a cup of flour before adding them to the batter and this will make sure they are evenly spread through the cake/bread.
4. I put half a cup of brandy into the fruit and this made for a very boozy cake so don’t go overboard.
5. The cake got a bit dry after the first couple of days so store it in a really airtight container if you can.
Kulich – Russian sweet bread
1. Heat milk and water until luke warm 2. Sprinkle dry, active yeast on top of the milk 3. Frothed up yeast after 20 minutes 4. Add a cup of flour to a large bowl 5&6. Soak sultanas and slivered almonds in brandy/rum 7 & 8. Add the yeast to the flour and mix well to make a thick batter 9. Let the poolish/starter rise for an hour in a warm place 10. Melt 125gms of butter 11. Separate 3 eggs into small bowls 12 & 13. Beat eggs yolks and ½ cup of sugar until thick and creamy 14. Make sure the butter has melted completely 15. Beat the egg whites to a stiff peak 16. Add the remaining flour and egg yolk mix to the poolish and combine 17. Add the melted butter and combine 18 & 19. Finally incorporate the egg whites into the batter using a metal spoon 20. Let the batter rise in a warm place for 1.5 hrs 21 & 22. Mix in the sultanas/almonds and pour into a loaf tin lined really high with non-stick paper 23. The batter is allowed to rise again for an hour and the paper fortress fails to hold 24. Silver-foil reinforced loaf tin 25. Cake after baking for 45 minutes 26 & 27. Remove cake from loaf tin, peel off the baking paper and eat while warm.