It has been sunny for 2 and a half days…kind of awesome. It’s nice to think spring is well on it’s way despite it being 3 degrees today (celsius tho). It was a nice weekend catching up from the week, meeting up with a new friend over live jazz and coffee, and the highlight being my first Paska. For those of you that don’t know Paska is an Easter bread which has many variations in many countries, ours obviously being Ukrainian. I’m not sure I’ve been around for Ukie Easter since I left home for highschool. We celebrate by the Julian calendar so it is usually the week or so after “regular” Easter, and it never quite worked out with school holidays or work schedules. So this year it is on! Yes, I have come to Norway to celebrate Ukrainian Easter. Go figure.
Furthermore, while the dishes for Easter aren’t nearly as elaborate and intense as the 12 courses at Christmas, I have never prepared more than some cabbage rolls and shredded beets for borstch in my years of exposure to Ukie food. So with my expert Kolach maker of a Teta, we took on my first Paska. I wasn’t getting my hopes up especially since we were experimenting with a few elements. 1 being me, 2 fresh yeast as we are short on dry packets, 3 we were trying a one for one substitution with gluten free flour. With the sun shining through the window and my coach on hand, we gave it a shot….and it worked! Ok so it’s not perfect, but pretty darn good if you ask me. The dough was a little stickier to work with, and didn’t rise quite as much, and when it baked it just stayed rather than fluffed up…but since I’ve had gluten free cookies turn into a puddle before, I’d rather it hold a dense braid than turn to mush! Also, it turns out the dough wasn’t condusive to making perfect birds, but all in all not bad. I now have something to put in the basket! Maybe a little chicken or turkey sausage and we are good to go =)
For anyone wondering, we used the Ukrainian Daughter’s cook book recipe with a 1 packet: 1 square dry:fresh yeast exchange, and pretty much 1:1 gluten free flour exchange. The flour was a combination of rice and corn base. I’ve read that pure rice flour and the use of xanthum gum would help the “fluff” factor, but I’ll leave that til next year to try probably. This version is a bit dense and kind of tastes like holy bread. But like I said it’s more about putting something in the basket this time around.