• Serves 8 - 10 people

Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the fruit.

  • 75 gm each mixed peel and sultanas
  • 60 gm cranberries
  • 40 gm golden or dark rum
  • 190 gm milk
  • Pinch of saffron powder
  • 12 gm instant dry yeast
  • 435 gm plain flour
  • 127 gm caster sugar
  • 130 gm butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40 gm slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • To decorate: assorted white sugar sprinkles
  • Lemon icing
  • 120 gm (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 100 gm pouring cream, milk or water
01   Soak dried fruit in warmed rum for at least 2 hours or, better still, overnight.
02   Warm the milk and saffron in a saucepan over medium heat until the milk is infused with saffron, set aside to cool to about 37C, then add yeast, 20gm flour and 12gm sugar, stir to combine, and stand until foamy (15 minutes).
03   Beat butter and remaining sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy, then gradually add beaten eggs and yolks, vanilla and a pinch salt. Add yeast mixture and mix until combined.
04   Change to a dough hook, add remaining flour and mix on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic (18-20 minutes).
05   Add dried fruit including rum, and almonds, and mix until just combined, then transfer to a buttered bowl, cover and set aside in a draught-free place until doubled in size (2-2½ hours).
06   Knock back dough, then place in a paper panettone mould 17cm high and 15cm diameter, cover with a plastic container sitting over it or cover loosely with plastic wrap to stop dough drying out and set aside until dough reaches the top of the paper (40 minutes to 1 hour).
07   Preheat oven to 200C. Once kulich has reached the top of the mould, transfer it to oven, reduce heat to 190C and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 180C and bake until kulich is dark and an inserted skewer withdraws clean (40-45 minutes). Cool kulich on a wire rack.
08   Meanwhile, for lemon icing, sift sugar into a bowl, add lemon juice and gradually mix in other liquid until a thick but pourable icing forms.
09   Once kulich is completely cool, remove panettone paper and glaze with lemon icing.
10   Scatter sprinkles on top of kulich and set aside until icing has set (30 minutes). Serve with paskha. Kulich is best eaten the day of baking.
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