Paska is a Ukrainian Easter bread that I LOVED, growing up. This Gluten-Free Paska is only slightly different in texture, but TASTES perfect!
Note: This recipe was first posted on my original blog, Celebration Generation, on April 5, 2012. It was transferred over to this blog - existing comments and all - on 8/26/2021
This recipe has been a long time coming and has developed over almost a decade!
It all started in 2012, after I’d been asked to make 3 huge batches of my Paska for a screen test for a local TV show.
I was so torn - it was such a great opportunity, and I love to turn people on to Paska - it's *glorious* stuff - but I had already planned to not have to make Paska that year.
It was too great a temptation for me -the year before, I went off gluten-free when I made it and lived to sort of regret it. (The pain was awful, but the bread was kinda worth it - it's THAT good!).
I really didn't want to go flying off the gluten-free wagon, especially with my health doing so up till that point. I'm strong, but some temptations are too great, even for me. I know myself well, so I decided to create a gluten-free version.
Sure, I'd never made gluten-free bread before that point ... but you know, I love a challenge.
Anyway, I’m cataloging the updates here, as I find it interesting to see the various incarnations.
Note in 2022: Now I have a Keto Paska that's also gluten free!
Round One, 2012
This one utilized a commercial “all-purpose” flour mix, as I hadn’t yet figured out that flour blends really should be custom for each recipe.
It didn't have quite the same texture as the real deal, but the flavor was very close.
I slathered butter on a slice fresh out of the oven, and it was heavenly.
So good, in fact, that I immediately messaged local friend Alissa, of "The Accidental Celiac, to inform her that I am a GENIUS (and so humble!), and that if she was around, I had to bring her something.
There may have been some capitalized expletives and exclamation point abuse involved also.
I wrapped some still-hot goodness up, stepped away from preparing supper, and went the few short blocks to deliver it.
Yep, fresh out of the oven Paska is THAT urgent... especially because having access to safe, GOOD bread when gluten-free can make you sort of... feral.
"GF Paska, I dub thee "Magic Bread." My daughter already has had 2 servings..and a part of the braid on top.
It was so yummy...and the scent was heavenly. Nice and lemony...mmmmm THANKS for the surprise delivery!!!"
Anyway, the screen test ended up canceled, but at least I got THIS out of it all. This morning I was reminded that I had not posted this recipe, though all of this went down just over a week ago!
Round Two, 2014
I was developing Beyond Flour.
The aim of the book was definitely “wish list” recipes, so I redid my earlier Gluten-free Paska recipe. I’d learned SO much about blending alternative flours, by that point.
Part of the changes dealt with technique: I did it in a bundt pan, rather than as a more traditional bread (As I’d tried the first time).
Given that a wetter batter meant no twisting dough for designs, the bundt pan allowed for a bit of “decorative”, within the constraints of the type of batter I was making.
It was SO much better than the first version!
I had been guilty of something I’d come to see in other gluten-free recipe developers: Being so far removed from the new thing + desperate, so “close enough” could be mistaken as “the real thing”!
This was why I ended up only using people who AREN’T gluten-free, as recipe testers for my gluten-free cookbooks!
Round 3, 2021
Seven years later, here I am updating old blog entries with better photos, etc.
I’d developed the last version for Beyond Flour - before my big Gluten-Free Bagels breakthrough that happened in Beyond Flour 2.
SO, I decided to overhaul the recipe once again, using some of what I’d figured out in creating that bagel recipe.
... BUT I was off in my calculations. The batter overflowed, and I burnt the bread.
HOWEVER... the bread itself tasted amazing - exactly like a normal Paska!
Round 4, a Few Days Later
I decided to go back to using a bundt pan (partially for volume, partially for appearance), tweaked a couple things about the new recipe (sugar content, added a bit more citrus, etc), and changed my baking time and temp.
AND IT WAS PERFECT.
I mean, almost.
As I’d mentioned in my regular Paska recipe, there are a bunch of different ways people make paska.
This one TASTES exactly like my normal paska but doesn’t have the soft, stretchy bread texture of MY normal paska.
However, it does have the exact same texture as other non-gf paskas I’ve had!
Think like... boxed grocery store panettone - the NOT gluten-free type. This is *bang on* for that.
As my (not gluten-free) husband says... It’s “PASS-ka”!
I mean, look at it:
Unf. So good!
How to Make Gluten-Free Paska
Prepare Your Ingredients
Measure warm milk into a glass measuring cup or bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar, allow to stand for 10 minutes – it should get very bubbly.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, protein powder, starches, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
Zest and Juice your oranges and lemon. You’ll need ¾ cup juice - if you end up with a little too much, discard a bit to get down to ¾ cup. If you don’t have quite enough, top up with water or prepared OJ / Lemon juice.
Note: I use this Cuisinart Juicer, love it!
Make Your Batter
In the bowl of a stand mixer - fit with a paddle, not a dough hook - cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beat until smooth.
Add juice and zest, continue mixing until well combined.
Add yeast mixture and dry ingredients; beat on low for 5 minutes.
Grease a standard-size bundt pan with butter or pan spray.
Once the dough has been mixed for 5 minutes, spread into the prepared bundt pan.
Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise somewhere warm for one hour, or until it’s about 50% bigger than it was.
Preheat oven to 350F (180 C).
Bake for 10 minutes.
Without opening the oven door, lower the heat to 325°F and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.
Check for doneness - insert a toothpick or knife into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, continue baking until it's fully baked.
Cool Paska for 5 minutes, then gently turn the pan over onto a serving dish to continue cooling.
Once Paska has cooled:
Measure 2 cups of icing sugar into a measuring cup. Add lemon juice and salt. Use a fork to whisk the mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the cup.
The mixture will be very thick.
Heat in a microwave for 10-15 seconds at a time - stirring between - until glaze is smooth and pourable.
Drizzle over paska, and quickly scatter sprinkles over it. The glaze sets up quickly, so move fast!
Also, if you're interested in gluten-free cooking and baking, you should definitely check out my gluten-free cookbooks: Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten Free Cooking & Baking, and the sequel... Beyond Flour 2. You can order them right here on my website, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller.
More Easter Content!
Looking for more fun / tasty ways to observe Easter? Here are a few suggestions:
Chocolate Zombie Easter Bunnies
Easter Egg Pavlova
Easy Pysanky [Epic Easter Eggs]
Southern Comfort Glazed Ham
Share the Love!
Before you chow down, be sure to take some pics of your handiwork! If you Instagram it, be sure to tag me - @BeyondFlourBlog - or post it to My Facebook Page - so I can cheer you on!
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Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Gluten-Free Paska [Ukrainian Easter Bread]
- 1 Bundt Pan
- 1 cup scalded milk cooled to warm
- 1 packet Active dry yeast or 2 ½ tsp
- 1 tablespoon Granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cup Light buckwheat flour
- ¾ cup Sorghum flour
- ½ cup Unflavoured whey protein powder
- ¼ cup Coconut flour
- ¼ cup Tapioca Starch/Flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Xanthan gum
- 1 ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ cup Butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cups Granulated sugar
- 3 Large eggs
- Juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange* ¾ cup juice
- Zest of 1 lemon and 2 oranges
- 2 cups Powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoon Lemon juice
- Pinch salt
- Sprinkles optional
- Measure warm milk into a glass measuring cup or bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar, allow to stand for 10 minutes – it should get very bubbly.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, protein powder, starches, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer - fit with a paddle, not a dough hook - cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beat until smooth. Add juice and zest, continue mixing until well combined.
- Add yeast mixture and dry ingredients, beat on low for 5 minutes.
- Grease a standard size bundt pan with butter or pan spray.
- Once dough has been mixed for 5 minutes, spread into prepared bread pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise somewhere warm for one hour, or until it’s about 50% bigger than it was.
- Preheat oven to 350F (180 C).
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Without opening the oven door, lower the heat to 325°F and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.
- Check for doneness - insert a toothpick or knife into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, continue baking until it's fully baked.
- Cool Paska for 5 minutes, then gently turn pan over onto a serving dish to continue cooling.
- Once Paska has cooled:
- Measure 2 cups of icing sugar into a measuring cup. Add lemon juice and salt.
- Use a fork to whisk the mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the cup. Mixture will be very thick.
- Heat in a microwave for 10-15 seconds at a time - stirring between - until glaze is smooth and pourable.
- Drizzle glaze over paska, and quickly scatter sprinkles over it. Glaze sets up quickly, so move fast!
More Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes!
Looking for something festive - for the whole family? Here are some great options!
Cranberry Jello Salad
Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cookies
Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Gluten-Free Sauerkraut Buns [Pyrizhky]
Gluten-Free Stuffing Recipe
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Classier Version
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Trashier Version
Roasted Carrots & Parsnips
Sweet Potato Souffle
Poor and Gluten Free
I just came across your site and had to say hello as there seemed too many similarities to ignore! I'm a gluten free blogger originally from Winnipeg (currently in Wisconsin to visit my own hubby to be), and have been posting the past 2 weeks on my blog about making gf versions of German Easter dishes, reminiscent of my childhood in the 'Peg 🙂 I will definitely have to try and make your gf Paska!
Oh wow, that IS similar! Where in Winnipeg are you from?
I wanted to thank you for posting this! I made it for my Pascha basket a couple weeks back and it turned out amazing! I used Pamela's Products GF bread mix instead of a GF all purpose flour and it rose up really nicely. I also added a dash of nutmeg, which really complimented the citrus.
Here's a picture
Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!
Thanks you for developing this. It helps so much in keeping my Polish/Lemko traditions alive when I have to members of my family with Celiac disease.
Hi, just saved the original recipe you had on here about two weeks ago and went to make it today to find it completely revamped. Can I get the old recipe if possible?
Oh, wow. This recipe has historically gotten basically no traffic, so I hadn't even considered that someone might be in the process of making it.
I didn't keep a record of the original recipe, sorry! It used store bought all purpose flour, which I've long since moved on from.
Hi there! I've recently been told to go wheat & dairy free & desperately want to make kulichi (paska) for Easter! Do you think it'll still taste delicious if I swap out the butter & milk for vegan options? Do you have a suggestion for swapping the whey protein powder? Would a vegan protein powder work? Thanks in advance!
Swapping out the butter and milk for vegan options should work.
As for the whey... I think there's a pretty good chance it'll work, just pick something either plain or vanilla flavoured that actually tastes good. I find a lot of non-whey protein powders taste a bit ... odd... to me.
Thank you!! 😊
well done honey worked for me too
Hi…the recipe says baking sofa, but in the instructions it says baking powder. Just want to clarify which one please. Thank you!
Whoops, sorry about that. It's baking soda! (Guess I missed a change from one of the earlier versions!)
I am dairy free in addition to gluten free so I tweaked the recipe. I used unsweetened oat milk which required a dwell time of 30 minutes instead of ten. I also replaced the whey with tapioca flour. It rose beautifully!! I wish I could post pictures!!