Kulich for Easter, Two Ways

Kulich (cool-ich) is an Easter bread that is scented and colored with saffron threads and topped with a sweet layer of icing. It is often made with St. Lucia Bun dough, but we took a favorite no-knead brioche dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five book and added a little saffron to it to make this version. If you scroll down, there’s also a recipe for ‘Cinnamon Roll Kulich’ – which is this same dough made with a cinnamon swirl center and baked in a popover pan to help keep its tall shape. Icing and sprinkles are also included, of course.

Kulich

2 pounds Brioche dough (page 300 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, or the recipe here on the website), with 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads mixed into the wet ingredients

All-purpose flour, for dusting

Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water), for brushing the dough

Icing

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons cream (or more as needed for a thick but pourable consistency

To bake: Generously grease a panettone mold with butter (the mold I use in the photos is currently unavailable but it is a 6 x 6 inch panettone pan with a removable bottom. Many people also bake them in large, empty, parchment lined coffee cans to achieve the high domed loaf.) Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Place the ball in the greased panettone mold, seam-side down.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven. Brush the dough with egg wash. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack.

Make the icing: Mix the confectioner’s sugar and heavy cream together until smooth and thick enough to cling to the cake. You don’t want it to drip off the sides (like the very first photo shows) but if it does (like the one directly above) it will still taste good. Drizzle the icing over the cake and cover with colorful sprinkles.

Cinnamon Roll Kulich

1 1/2 pounds Brioche dough (page 300 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, or the recipe here on the website), with 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads mixed into the wet ingredients

All-purpose flour for dusting

Filling

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

Icing

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons cream (or more as needed for a pourable consistency)

Grease a 12 cup (or two 6 cup) large popover pans. (If you don’t have popover pans, you can use a greased 9×13 inch baking pan.)

Roll the dough into 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Brush the entire surface with the melted butter. In a small bowl mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Spread the mixture over the butter topped dough. Use your hands to make sure you have an even coat of the sugar. Then roll the dough up, starting at the long end.

Use a Bread Knife, Kitchen Scissors or floss to cut the log into 12 equal pieces.

Loosely cover the buns and let them rest between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The long rest will insure that you have a fluffy bun. (You can set these up the night before and let them rest overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning take them out and let them sit on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour.) You may get away with slightly shorter rise, but the buns will not be quite as soft.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, just until the centers are set when poked with your finger (they should be caramel colored). Turn the buns out of the pan (if using the popover pans). Let them cool on a wire rack.

Make the icing: Mix the confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream together until smooth and thick enough to cling to the cinnamon rolls. Drizzle the icing over each roll and cover with colorful sprinkles.

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582 thoughts on “Kulich for Easter, Two Ways

  1. Our family does a daily ‘things that make us happy’ share. Many days the happy thing is the FRESH ARTISAN BREAD we are having with dinner. Thank you so much for making our days better.

  2. Happy Easter. I’m glad you mentioned yeast. I’ve been trying to buy some for a couple weeks but can’t find it at local stores. I guess everyone is home making bread. Hope I win the giveaway

  3. My family thinks I’m this Amazing Bread Baker, it is all because of the Artisan Bread In Five recipes and process. I have several dough buckets and have made many of the recipes but never a Kulich – I need to get shaking, making and baking. I have all the Artisan Bread books but the holiday one. Would love to win!

  4. I have also noticed the lack of yeast … store shelves, online shopping. I now have your sourdough starter starting to bubble on my kitchen counter! Thanks for the amazing recipes and email updates.

  5. Your bread comes out perfect every time! Funny, my husband groans if I want to try a new bread recipe I find on the internet that’s not from Bread in 5 cook book. It’s hard to get a picture because we eat it to fast.

  6. Have not tried any of the enriched doughs but successfully made my first pitas yesterday . Favorite part is the eating while warm (with butter of course). Would be tickled to win yeast and book

  7. Happy Easter! We ate all our Easter candy before Easter too! I made the Brioche dough and fried them up without apples inside & learned I have to make them smaller as some where still doughy or raw. They were so delicious, though – the family is begging me to make more. But, I am quickly running out of yeast and would love a copy of your book to keep the creative baking up while we’re staying home. Stay safe everyone and enjoy the day!

  8. What a generous idea during our mutual “lockdown!” The offer of yeast AND a cookbook is irresistible, thank you. I’m in love with your focaccia recipe and have included it in my weekly baking

  9. I already baked my bread today (it’s still in the oven and smelling wonderful) but I might just have to try the cinnamon roll kulich tomorrow. They look so good and … special. And we need that right now. Blessings and good health to everyone.

  10. I love your blog and recipes, and my family bought me a dough whisk, Cambro pans with lids, and The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day a few years ago.

  11. It’s challenging! This bread making. So many different kinds to try. Somehow bread-making is more gratifying than any other baking. Thanks for making it easier! And so delicious!!

  12. I love the combination of professional baking skills and food science! I found ABin5 years and have come back, introducing my daughter and 85 yr old mom (gluten free only due to celiac disease)!!!

  13. I love your books! I have 2 of them: Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day and Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I have Celiac disease and have really enjoyed your gluten-free recipes and all the tips and photos in your books. I too am having a lot of trouble finding reasonably-priced yeast and have been kicking myself for not ordering some a month ago when I realized I was running low! Gluten-free store-bought bread is awful, so I’ve been making my own for more than a decade. I’ve been thinking I might need to find a gluten-free sourdough starter so I can make bread again. Thanks so much for all you do! Not many people want to try to conquer gluten-free bread unless they have to.

  14. Always enjoy your website thank you for keeping us busy.Have to get a batch of brioche dough going.
    Holiday and Celebration Bread yes please

  15. I am a brand newbie to baking bread. I finally was able to purchase yeast yesterday. I would LOVE to win one of your books. Wish me luck!

  16. My son and I were going to attempt to bake homemade bread. I checked your book out of the library but had not bought yeast. I look forward to trying your recipes when this is over or sooner if I win the contest.

  17. Your posts have inspired to try making bread again since we are hunkered down at home. Thank you and I hope to win one of the books. If not at least I know I can keep learning from your emails !

  18. That bread is beautiful and I’d love to win a copy of your Holiday and Celebration Bread book. (The master pizza dough in the Artisan Pizza and Flatbread book is worth the price of the book, we’ve made it so many times!)

  19. Happy Easter!
    I was able to buy some yeast on amazon last week…carzy times.
    Let’s hope we’re back to normal soon.
    David

  20. I love Artisan Bread in 5 minutes! I have used your methods over the years. I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, so I am in the beginning stages of learning from you how to make gf bread that actually tastes good!
    thank you for the years of help — and for getting me started on my newest journey!

  21. I am a huge fan of your books and have been inspiring friends and family to bake during this time by sharing pics of your recipes on my Instagram
    . Thank you for inspiring me everyday to bake for my family

  22. I’m making my first sourdough this quarantine! thanks for the fun tutorials on instagram and the emails. it’s fun to follow along!

  23. We really enjoy your recipes. My wife is a nurse and worked 12 hours a shift. One of her co workers was talking about how she had homemade bread every week for her husband and 4 children. Susie asked how in the world did she have time to make bread when working 12 hour shifts. That’s when we learned about the original, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. Thank you

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