Meet Alexandra. She’s part of Innovista Ukraine’s team, and along with her daughter, granddaughter and cat, she shares an old family recipe with us today. From her family to yours, enjoy preparing for Easter today.
Craft: how to decorate Easter eggs

All around the world, eggs symbolise new life at Easter. This year, why not try a traditional Ukrainian method to dye your eggs, using only natural food colour. The dyes work best with white eggs, but try them with whichever eggs you can get hold of at the moment! Once you’ve dyed them, paint them to produce magnificent decorations for your Easter celebrations. At the end of today’s video, you can see Alexandra’s family clinking their eggs together, saying “Christ is Risen”, and enjoying them at their Easter feast.

Blue eggs

You will need:
– A red small cabbage (or half a large one), chopped
– Hard boiled eggs
– 1 tbsp salt
– 1 tsp white vinegar

Put the cabbage into a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the vinegar and salt, and remove the cabbage.
Submerge the eggs, boil for two minutes, then take off the heat.
Set the pan aside for a few hours before removing the eggs. Depending on how long you leave the eggs in the water, you will get a range of shades from pale blue to dark indigo!
Brown eggs

You will need:
– Onion skins from 2.5 kg of onions (about three handfuls of skin)
– 300ml water
– Uncooked eggs, clean and at room temperature
– 1 tbsp salt

Wash the onion skins in cold water, and put them into a pot. Add enough cold water to cover them fully (the mixture should be thick), and leave overnight.
Add the salt to help prevent the shells from cracking.
Heat the mixture until it’s warm. Gently submerge the eggs. Bring to the boil, and then boil for 8-10 minutes.
Remove the eggs and put them into cold water for 10 minutes.
Yellow eggs

You will need:
– 6 tbsp turmeric
– 1 tbsp white vinegar
– 4 cups water
– Hard boiled eggs

Add the turmeric and vinegar to 4 cups of very hot water in a bowl. Stir until the turmeric has dissolved.
Put the eggs into the mixture and soak them until they reach the desired hue (this might take several hours).
Rinse with water to remove any residual turmeric powder.
Recipe: traditional Ukrainian Easter bread

Here’s Alexandra’s recipe for delicious Easter bread. Why not give it a try this week – it’s a great one to make with children! If you can’t get hold of all of the ingredients at the moment, just halve the recipe.

1 litre warm milk
20g dry yeast
8 large egg yolks
500g caster sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
400g butter (melted)
2 tsp salt
2 kg flour
200g raisins
200g chopped dried apricots

Add the yeast to the flour, then add 100g of sugar, and half of the warm milk. Leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes until bubbles begin to form.
Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and vanilla extract. Add the salt and butter, pour in the rest of the milk, and mix well.
Add your eggy mixture to the flour mixture, then tip in the raisins and dried apricots and mix well.
Tip the dough out and knead it well. It should be soft but not runny. Add more flour if you need to. If it sticks to your hands too much while you’re kneading, pour a little oil onto the table and put the dough on top.
Put the dough back into the mixing bowl and let it prove for 30 minutes. Knead it again, then let it prove again for an hour. Knead it a final time, and then prove it for a final 30 minutes. After proving, you should be able to cut the dough with a knife without any sticking to the blade. If you can’t do that, add some more flour.
You can use this dough for Easter bread or sweet rolls:
To make one large loaf, shape the dough into a round and place in the centre of a lined, oiled baking tray. Remember the dough will grow in the oven!
To make smaller buns, cut pieces of dough, form into balls and arrange on a lined, oiled baking tray, leaving space for them to expand as they bake.
Let the dough rest again for 30 minutes, then bake in an oven preheated to 200°С (180°С fan). For a large loaf, it’ll need 60 minutes. For smaller buns, check after 35 minutes.
Leave to cool, then add to your Easter table and enjoy!