The dough is enriched with butter and eggs, which gives it a lovely creamy color, both while it's worked and when the final product is sliced. The larger piece on the counter will be used for the main loaf, while the smaller piece is held in reserve for all the decorations.
It will rise well above the edges of a standard cake pan, so a buttered parchment collar helps the loaves keep their shape.
Once the loaf has risen about half way, use the reserved dough to roll out the pieces to make the curved cross, seven pointed sun figure and the coiled ropes to wrap around the edge. Other traditional decorations derived from nature can also be used. Sometimes birds are nestled into the arms of the cross, rosettes, vines, braids - pretty much anything representative of spring or rebirth.
When the decorations are all in place, let the paska continue to rise until it is nice and light.
Just before baking, gently brush the top with an egg wash.
Voila! Loaves ready to be blessed and shared for the feast.
Paska has a lovely texture. It's wonderful with butter and marmalade (or honey), and if any is left over for the next morning, it makes fantastic French toast.