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Russian Easter Bread (Kulich)

It is traditional to make the design XB meaning "Christ is risen" on top of each of these little towering loaves.

Ingredients

Bread

Lemon Icing



Instructions

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.
  2. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, raisins, candied fruit, almonds, lemon peel and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
  4. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  5. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  6. Punch dough down; divide into halves. Shape each half into round bun-shaped loaf.
  7. Place in two well-greased 3-pound shortening cans.*
  8. Let rise until double, 40 to 50 minutes.
  9. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  10. Place cans on low rack so that midpoint of each can is in center of oven.
  11. Bake until tops are golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. If tops brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  12. Cool for 10 minutes.
  13. Remove from cans.
  14. Spoon Lemon Icing over tops of warm bread, allowing some to drizzle down sides.
  15. Trim with tiny decorating candies if desired.
  16. Lemon Icing: Mix confectioners' sugar, water and lemon juice until smooth. Icing should be of glaze consistency. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons water if necessary.


* Two (46-ounce) juice cans can be substituted for the 3-pound shortening cans.


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