Kalach – is considered to be ritual bread, one of the main attributes on weddings and some other Ukrainian feasts. Kalach usually has theoval form with a hole in the middle. It is mostly popular in the West Ukraine, while korovai is famous in other Ukrainian regions. Baking of kalach is culinary art. If you wonder how it is possible to create such marvelous ornaments from the dough, below you can see the recipe of a classic kalach.


  • 200 g (7 oz) sugar
  • 200 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp of yeast
  • 200 g (7 oz) margarine/dairy butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 700 g (1,5 lb) flour
  • vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 60 g (2 oz) raisins
  • 5-6 peanuts
  • poppy seeds – to taste


Dissolve yeast in hot milk, add 3 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of flour. Mix the ingredients and leave them in a warm place for half an hour. Grind 4 yolks with sugar and vanilla sugar. Froth whites with salt separately.

Combine the dough with yolks, whites and melted dairy butter. Add the ingredients gradually and stir everything properly after each adding.

Then add flour and knead the dough. Soak raisins in hot water for 10 minutes and add them to the flour. The dough should not be stiff and watery. Quite the contrary, its texture should be soft.

Cover the dough with a napkin and leave in a warm place for 15-20 minutes.


Ritual bread recipe

№1 Roll out the dough and shape it in a form of a flat cake, cut out a circle in the centre by the help of a cup. Model twigs/flowers or any wished figures from the dough cuttings and stick them to kalach.

№2 Roll the dough and divide into two parts. Shape the dough in the form of sausages. Make a plait and arrange it in in the form of a wreath.

The raisins should not stick out, otherwise they could be burnt.

Put parchment paper above a baking tray. Transfer the prepared kalach there. Set it aside for 10 minutes. Then grease kalach with an egg and leave for 10 minutes more. Top it with ground nuts and poppy seeds.

Heat the oven to 100°C. Place the baking tray there. In 5 minutes increase the temperature to 200°C. Bake kalach for 30-40 minutes.

Enjoy your meal!

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