Easter recipes: Bread and Elephant Stew

Easter Bread

The original Paska recipes came from Russians, immigrants from Tiflis and Erevan, who settled in Arizona and Los Angles in the early 1900’s. If you go for this traditional recipe, be prepared for an over-abundance of Paskas. You can give extra loaves away if you know that many people.

While this recipe was a link to generations past, in 1963, the Beatles’ records were redefining American music and the introduction of the little known, touch phone would be the beginning of a communication revolution.  Taste and food preferences rarely change as fast.

Sweet dough for Paska, Pauline Lisizin, Los Angeles, 1963

marchphotos2 039All ingredients must be at room temperature.

  • 2 ¾ cup scaled milk
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon each, lemon and almond flavoring
  • 10 eggs
  • 3 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • ½ pound yeast, soften with ¼ cup warm water and 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 5 lbs. flour
  • 2 Tablespoons salt

Melt butter in in scalded milk, add flavoring to it. Whip eggs to a lemon color, add sugar and sour cream a little at a time. Add your yeast mixture, milk liquid and egg mixture to flour all at once; mix well, let rest in warm place covered with a dish towel. Then knead 10 minutes by hand, let rise until double in bulk, punch down every 20 minutes. Time rising is two hours. Divide into loaves and let rest on table for 15 minutes. Shape back into loaves lightly to break bubbles as you put loaves into greased loaf pans. Then let it rise and brush tops with beaten egg and bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for 35 minutes. You may add raisins, glazed fruit mix. Notes from Julia (Jo): Use a 9x5x3 pan or whatever size you have. Some ladies use coffee cans, shortening cans, or orange juice cans.

Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.

A modernized version of traditional Russian Paska.

Bread machine Paska, 1995

marchphotos2 045For 1 pound loaf:

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup dry milk
  • ½ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 2/3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 teaspoon lemon flavoring
  • 2/3 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 1/3 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)

Place all ingredients in machine in order as listed in recipe.

Add raisins after the kneading cycle. If you prefer smaller Paskas, remove dough before the machine starts the baking cycle. Add 1/3 cup flour and shape the Paskas.

To bake: use one pound coffee cans or 5-6 large muffin tins sprayed with vegetable oil. Let rise to double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes for muffin size and 45 minutes for coffee cans.

Keep yolks center in eggs by stirring the water while cooking hard-boiled eggs (especially good for deviled eggs. Boil cracked eggs n aluminum foil twisted at both ends. Mary Ellen’s Hints, 1980

Entertaining a crowd for Easter? This might be a real option.

Elephant Stew

Elephant StewA recipe from the kitchen circuit, 1970’s.  It’s origin? I haven’t a clue.

  • 1 medium elephant
  • 2 small rabbits
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Brown elephant, place in large saucepan and simmer over low heat for two weeks. Salt and pepper to taste. This recipe will serve over 200. If more are expected, add the rabbits. This should be avoided, however, as most people don’t like hare in their stew.