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Lithuanian Easter Bread Recipe - Velykos Pyragas

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Lithuanian Easter Bread or Velykos Pyragas

Lithuanian Easter Bread or Velykos Pyragas

© 2010 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for Lithuanian Easter bread or velykos pyragas is made with a sweet yeast dough and white raisins. The Easter meal is begun with hard-cooked colored eggs that have been decorated with the scratch or wax-resist method. It is a tradition for one person to hold an egg while the other person strikes it with his egg. The egg that doesn't crack is left uneaten. After a big feast, visiting with relatives and friends begins and, for children, a chance to receive Easter eggs from their godparents and neighbors.

See Easter Breads Across Eastern Europe.

Here is a larger photo of Lithuanian Easter Bread.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Rising time: 3 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 2 (9x5-inch) loaves

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups scalded milk
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups + 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white raisins
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water

Preparation:

  1. Cool scalded milk to 110 degrees. Place in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add yeast, 1/4 cup sugar and 3 cups flour. Mix well. Cover and let rise until light and bubbly.

  2. Add eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, raisins and butter to yeast mixture, mixing well. Add remaining 3 1/2 cups flour and knead until a smooth dough forms. Turn out into a greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.

  3. Punch down dough. Shape into 2 loaves and place in large loaf pans. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush with 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons water. Bake 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 degrees. Turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

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