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Servings: 8 people

For the Paska Easter Bread Dough:

  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast, (4 grams)
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar, (plus 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, *measured correctly

For the Farmer Cheese (Tvorog) Filling:

  • 8 1/2 oz farmers cheese, (1 3/4 cups packed)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tsp orange zest , from 1 medium orange

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water

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  • In a measuring cup, Combine 1/2 cup warm milk (not hot),1 tsp sugar and 1 1/2 tsp yeast. Stir to combine and let sit 10 min to proof.
  • In a small bowl, add 1 egg, remaining 3 Tbsp sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and whisk together. Whisk in warm melted butter (NOT HOT). Lastly whisk in proofed yeast mixture.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add 2 1/4 cups flour then add wet ingredients. Combine dough with a spatula then knead by hand 10 min. Dough will be soft and not sticking to your hands. Form dough into a ball then cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  • Meanwhile, make cheese filling: In a medium bowl crumble farmers cheese with a fork. Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 egg yolk. Use spatula to blend until combined and somewhat creamy. Add diced apricots and 2 tsp orange zest.
  • Once dough has risen, punch it down and transfer to lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 12″x9″ rectangle, between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick. Add cheese filling and spread evenly leaving a 1/2″ border at the edges.
  • Roll dough into a log starting from the long end and pinch edges to seal. Cut the roll in half to split into 2 strands, keeping them attached at one end. Overlap the 2 strands starting at the connected end and weaving them together towards the ends. Pinch the ends to seal. Carefully transfer braid cut-side up to a greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise/puff up at room temperature 30-45 min. Beat 1 egg with 1 tsp water and generously brush egg wash over risen loaf.
  • Bake in center of oven at 350˚F for 35 to 40 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest 5 minutes in pan then transfer to wire rack. Dust warm bread with powdered sugar. Once cooled to room temperature, slice and serve.

By uvu44

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