My grandmother was from Belarus, part of the former Soviet Union. This is her recipe for sweet yeast bread.
My Russian and Ukrainian friends are familiar with this style bread. There is a special tall, cylindrical baking pan they use for Easter, but we use empty vegetable cans for small loaves or larger coffee cans. The shape looks like a mushroom or a dome of the Russian Orthodox Churche. But my Grandma for everyday baking used traditional glass bread pans and she made this year round, not only at Easter.
1/4 pound butter
4 and 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup raisins, optional
- In a saucepan heat milk. Add butter and melt. Keep warm.
- In a large bowl beat eggs with a whisk till lemon color. Add sugar slowly and continue beating until thick and light
- In a very large bowl combine flour and salt.
- Add warm milk mix to eggs.
- Add egg mix to flour and beat with the back of a wooden spoon against the front side of the bowl. Turn the bowl 180 degrees frequently.Or beat with the paddle of a mixer.
- Combine 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/3 cup water. Dissolve and mix in yeast. Cover with a towel and allow to rise to double in volume.
- Add yeast to dough and continue beating until smooth and glossy.
- Pour dough into a buttered large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, a rubber band and a towel. Rise until doubled.
- After risen once, cut through the dough with a spatula.
- Add raisins.
- Pour into 3 buttered and floured cans. Fill to only 1/2 full.
- Rise till dough reaches the top of the can.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.
- You can drizzle with a thin icing if you like.