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Russian Kulich

  • Yield: Makes 2 loaves
Russian Kulich

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 1999

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for bowl and cans
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large whole egg plus 8 large egg yolks
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, very finely minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup candied citron, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

  1. Combine 1/4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter; remove pan from heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour and whole egg; set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar; let sit until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture; let mixture sit, covered, in a warm place until bubbling and doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  3. Place remaining cup granulated sugar and 3/4 cup butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add salt and egg yolks; beat until thick and creamy, 3 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup milk, vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg, and saffron. Add the yeast mixture and remaining teaspoon yeast.

  4. Fit mixer with dough hook; generously butter a large bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually mix in remaining 3 3/4 cups flour. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add citron, raisins, currants, and slivered almonds; knead until combined. Place in buttered bowl; cover tightly with plastic. Let rise until doubled, about 3 hours.

  5. Butter insides of two clean 13-ounce coffee cans. Line bottoms and sides with parchment paper, letting paper extend 1 inch beyond rims of cans. Divide dough in half; put into cans. Cover with plastic; let rise until dough reaches tops of cans, about 2 hours.

  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Place cans on sides on a wire rack; cool slightly. Turn out; remove paper. Stand upright on rack, and cool.

  7. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, and lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over loaves, and serve.

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