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Pascha, Easter Bread


The large bread made of white flour, eggs, milk and raisins symbolizes our Lord himself, who is living bread, who has come down from heaven to give eternal life in the Eucharist. Just as bread is the "staff of life," Christ is our spiritual nourishment for eternal life.

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  • 12 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon mahlepi or crushed aniseed or vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 pieces of masticha, crushed with 1/4 teaspoon sugar or grated peel of 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup of milk, lukewarm
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sesame seeds or blanched almonds
  • raisins, optional
  • dyed red eggs, optional


Servings 6
Preparation time 250mins
Cooking time 280mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk. Add a few spoonfuls of flour to make a paste. Cover and set aside in a warm place to rise.

In a bowl, combine flour and salt, and add melted butter.

Boil mahlepi in a little water, strain and add the liquid to the flour. Alternatively add 1 teaspoon mahlepi flavoring. Add eggs, masticha, sugar, and risen yeast. On a floured surface, knead the mixture well until it becomes a medium dough, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch down and create shapes. We usually either braid them and wrap it into a circle as shown. Then we place an egg in the center. Or we shape the braid into baskets and we place an egg "in" the basket. You can also just braid it straight down and place the egg in the top of the braid.

Place loaves on greased cookie sheets or baking pans, cover and allow to rise until doubled. Brush with beaten egg.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds, sugar, or blanched almond slices.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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