---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05
  
       Title: Masha’s Easter Kulich
  Categories: Breads
       Yield: 1 servings
  
       1 c  Skim milk; heated to lukewar
            -m
            (98 to 110 degrees)
       3 tb Active dry yeast
   1 1/2 c  Honey or maple syrup
     1/2 c  Raisins
       1 ts Saffron threads
     1/4 c  Rum or apple juice
       5 c  Unbleached white flour
            ; or more, divided
       2 ts Salt
       1 ts Vanilla
       2    Eggs; lightly beaten
       3 tb Melted butter or canola oil
     1/4 c  Chopped almonds
     1/2 c  Chopped mixed dried fruits
  
   Recipe by: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 3/24/97
   In large mixing bowl, combine milk, yeast and honey; stir
   well. Cover bowl with clean dish towel; set aside warm
   place for 10 minutes or until yeast foams.
   
   In smaller bowl, soak raisins and saffron in rum for 10
   minutes.
   
   Add raisin mixture and enough flour to yeast to form a
   thick batter. Stir with wooden spoon vigorously about 20
   times. Cover bowl again and let dough rise in warm place 1
   hour.
   
   Add salt, vanilla, eggs, butter, almonds, fruits and enough
   additional flour to make a kneadable dough. Transfer dough
   to floured board or counter; knead 10 minutes or until
   elastic and silky to touch.
   
   Clean bowl. Place kneaded dough into bowl, cover and let
   rise in warm place 1 hour. Punch down dough, then let rise
   again 25 minutes.
   
   Wash and dry, then oil inside of empty 3-pound coffee can.
   Line can with unprinted buttered brown paper, such as from
   a grocery bag, cut into long strips, allowing tops of
   strips to hang over top of can. Tie ends against side of
   can with string. (Overhanging paper strips make baked bread
   easier to remove from can.) Roll dough into a ball and
   press into can. Cover with clean dish towel and let rise 30
   minutes or until dough rises above top of can.
   
   Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake bread in can on lowest
   oven shelf for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 40
   minutes longer or until golden brown. Let cool for 10
   minutes, then open bottom of can with can opener and remove
   bread by lifting out with paper strips.
   
   Note: Russian cooks often ice their kulich with a mixture
   of 1 egg white (or equivalent egg white powder and water),
   a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup powdered sugar or warmed honey and
   1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Beat the egg white until stiff
   peaks form, then fold in remaining ingredients; drizzle
   over kulich. Yield: 1 kulich.
  
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