Here is a larger photo of Ukrainian Christmas Bread or Kolach.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Rising: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf Ukrainian Kolach
- NOTE: This recipe will make 1 braided oblong or round loaf. To make three round braided loaves to be stacked on top of each other, triple the recipe. The three loaves should be baked in 3 tube pans of decreasing size, 12-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch would be perfect.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water for glaze
- In a small bowl, mix yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/3 cup warm water. Let stand 15 minutes or until bubbly.
- In a large bowl or a stand mixer, beat eggs until thick. Beat in the yeast mixture, 2 tablespoons sugar, oil and salt. Then add the 1/2 cup warm water and mix until fully incorporated. Add 2 cups flour and mix well. Add remaining flour and knead until dough is smooth and blistered.
- Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour or until doubled. Punch down dough and let rise again until doubled. Knead by hand a few times and then turn out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and braid. Shape into an oblong loaf and place on a parchment-lined pan. Or shape into a circle, joining the ends, and place in a greased 10-inch tube pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 50-60 minutes or until instant-read thermometer registers 180 degrees. Brush bread with egg yolk-water mixture the last 5 minutes of baking or until thermometer registers 190 degrees. Remove from oven and turn out of pans to cool completely on a wire rack.