There is no wedding or Christmas Eve without the kalach bread in Ukraine.
Kalach is a traditional Ukrainian bun. The term kalach is derived from the word “kolo”, which means circle in Ukrainian. The kalach can be baked into two shapes: in the shape of a circle and in the shape of a plait. From century to century kalach was a big part of every important holiday. There is no wedding or Christmas Eve without the kalach bread in Ukraine. The ingredient that makes the kalach extremely delicious is milk. You should not use water. Although kalach is known in a lot of Slavic countries, Ukraine can be proud of the uniqueness of the recipes used to prepare it.
1.7 ounce active yeast
2.5 fl oz warm water
14 fl oz milk
3 medium eggs
0.3 ounce poppy
5.7 ounce sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
3.3 lbs. flour
4.4 oz margarine
- Combine the yeast and the warm water in the bowl and add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir it carefully and leave it for 10 minutes to rest.
- Meanwhile, sift all the flour.
- Mix two eggs in a separate bowl.
- Take the bowl with the yeast and add milk, sugar, vanilla sugar, margarine and eggs. Stir the mixture and add 1.3 lbs of the flour. Stir the new mixture until the flour is integrated and then cover the bowl with a towel and leave it for 1-1.5 hour to rest. You should check the condition of the dough every 20 minutes. If the dough forms a hill in the bowl – stir it very slowly with the help of a spoon.
- Put the dough in the remaining flour and start kneading it. You should get a soft dough. Leave the dough for 20 more minutes.
- After the 20 minutes have passed, divide the dough into 9 small buns and elongate the dough until you get the shape of a stick, as you see in the picture.
- Take 3 of the buns and make the dough in the form of a plait. Leave it for 15 minutes to rest .
- Then put it on a greased baking sheet.
- Mix 1 egg and grease the top of the kalach with it and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Preheat oven to 355°F and put the dough inside for 25 minutes. Check if the kalach is ready with the help of a toothpick.
*Don’t forget to cover the top of the kalach with the mixed egg. This trick will make it toasty and with the perfect brown crust.
*Traditional Ukrainian sprinkle for sweet pastries are poppy seeds, but modern women sprinkle kalach with different types of seeds, for instance combine poppy and sesame seeds (as I did) or don’t use it at all.
*Kalach can be as salt as sweet. Everything depends on the amount of sugar you put in it.