(the piroshki dough is still rising; I'll get back to you on that.)
Ukrainian Christmas cake:
(Other versions are less fluffy, do not have the yeast, do not have the sour cream/yogurt, do not have the sugar, are less labor-intensive, add fruit or nuts....)
1 pkg. dry granular yeast
3 tbsp. lukewarm water
1 cup honey (dark buckwheat honey is preferable)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream (I use whole milk yogurt)
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs separated
3 cups sifted flour (I use half whole wheat and half unbleached)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease your pan--rectangular cake pan or loaf pan(s).
Proof the yeast. Bring the honey to a boil and cool it slightly. The honey should be warm.
Cream the butter and sugar together with a hand-held mixer until light and creamy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and continue to beat until all is incorporated, then add the honey and sour cream and continue to mix. Add the yeast to the resultant batter; it's mostly for flavor. *g*
Beat the eggs whites to stiff peak. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Fold the flour mixture and the egg whites, alternating, into the cake batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack, but not too much; it's best warm.