Christmas Kalach

rojdestvkalachThere is a tradition in Ukraine to present kalach when visiting relatives and friends during Christmas and New Year holidays.

Of course, there is a wide choice in shops. However there is nothing like flavorful, golden, and sweet homemade kalach. Real kalach is that one in which you put your heart into and say praying before baking.

Believe me, such a present, given with a part of your heart, is the best one you can make for your family and beloved ones.

Ingredients:

  • 300 ml milk
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 700 g (1,5 lb) flour
  • 80 ml sunflower oil
  • 50 g (5 tbsp) raisins
  • 1 package of vanilla sugar
  • 50 g (5 tbsp) dried apricot
  • 100 g (3,5 oz) dairy butter
  • 4 eggs + 1 egg for greasing
  • poppy seeds – to taste

Cooking

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add 3 tbsp of sugar and 1 cup of flour. Mix the ingredients. Cover everything with a food wrap. Set aside in a warm place for half an hour.

Combine yolks with vanilla sugar and the remaining sugar. Add them to the ingredients in the bowl.

Whip whites of the egg with salt until frothy and add them to the bowl. Then add melted dairy butter and stir carefully. Add sunflower oil and mix. (Mix everything carefully after each adding).

Pour raisins and dried apricot with hot water. Set them aside for 20 minutes. Then drain off the water. Cut dried apricot. Combine the raisins with apricot and flour. Stir in this mixture to the dough.

Knead the dough until it gets a soft consistency. Cover the dough with a food wrap and put it in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into long strips. Braid them together starting at the middle and turn the ends under. You may make 1 big kalach or several of medium size.

Place our kalach on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Let it stand for 10 minutes more. Grease it with an egg and top with poppy seeds.

Bake kalach in the preheated oven at 200°C (392°F) for 10 minutes. Continue to bake at 170°C (338°F) for 30-40 minutes.

Enjoy your meal!

Do you have a favorite recipe of Ukrainian kalach? If so, please let us know in the comments below or write us an e-mail.