Ukrainian Christmas bread – 3 tasty recipes for kolach

In Ukraine, there is no Christmas Eve without special braided bread called kolach. The name of this bread derived from the Ukrainian word “kolo”, which means a circle and symbolizes eternity and general welfare. 

Welcome to enjoy 3 delicious recipes for Ukrainian Christmas bread. Choose yours!

Christmas kolach with poppy seeds



  • 300 g (10,5 oz) flour
  • 20 g (3,5 tbsp) yeast
  • 60 g (2 oz) sugar
  • 3 egg yolks 
  • 250 ml milk
  • 40 g (1,5 oz) dairy butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk (for greasing)
  • poppy seeds – to taste


1 Melt dairy butter. Dilute the yeast in warm milk (you can use water instead of milk as well) and combine in a bowl with flour, sugar, yolks, and salt. Finally, add the melted dairy butter.

2 Knead the dough and put it in a warm place to increase its volume by 1.5-2 times. When the dough is already raised, knead it again and divide it into several parts. 

3 Divide the dough into long strips. Braid them together starting at the middle and turn the ends under. You can make one big kolach or several medium-sized.

4 Brush Christmas bread with a beaten egg yolk and transfer it to a baking sheet greased with dairy butter. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

5 Bake kolach at 200°C (392°F) for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Ukrainian twisted bread with raisins



  • 520-600 g (18-21 oz) flour
  • 250 ml milk 
  • 3 eggs
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) dry yeast 
  • 70 g (2,5 oz) dairy butter 
  • 125 ml sour cream 
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar 
  • 1-2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 55 g (2 oz) raisins
  • a pinch of salt 



1 Sift flour. Pour boiling water over raisins and leave them for 10 minutes, drain the water.

2 Heat the milk and mix in sugar. Then add yeast. Stir everything thoroughly. Add 2 tbsp of flour. Mix well and put in a warm place for 20 minutes.

3 Add in 260-300 g (9-10,5 oz) of flour and stir again. Put the pre-dough in a warm place for 20-30 minutes. When the predough grows 2-3 times, add salt, eggs, soft dairy butter, and sour cream.

4 Thoroughly knead the dough, adding flour gradually. Cover the dough with a towel, put it in a warm place for 1.5-2 hours. Knead the dough periodically during this time (2-3 times).

5 Turn on the oven. Then add raisins to the dough and stir well. Divide the dough into thirds. Braid the pieces together and shape them into a circle.  

6 Cover the baking dish with a cooking sheet, grease it with dairy butter. Put kolach above carefully. Brush them with a beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle sweet bread with poppy seeds. Leave them to rise for 30-40 minutes.

7 Put the baking dish in a preheated oven on a medium shelf. Bake at 200°С (392°F) for about 40 minutes. Put the baked Christmas bread on a plate, cover it with a towel, and let stand for 15-20 minutes.

Ukrainian holiday sour cream bread



  • 300 g (10,5 oz) flour
  • 200 g (7 oz) dairy butter
  • 200 ml sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 90 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 g (1 tsp) baking powder 


1 Beat eggs lightly with sugar, add sour cream and melted dairy butter.

2 Combine sifted flour with salt and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mass to the egg-sour cream mixture and knead a soft elastic dough.

3 Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Braid and shape them into a circle, joining the ends.

4 Place kolachi on a baking sheet greased with dairy butter and bake it in an oven preheated to 180°C (356°F) for about 15 minutes until lightly browned.

5 Let the hot kolachi “rest” under a cloth napkin.

Enjoy your meal!

Have you liked the recipe for braided kolach yeast bread?

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