This rich, sweet yeast bread is Russian in origin and traditionally baked at Easter in tall cylindrical loves. The loaf is often glazed and includes candied fruit, raisins, almonds, lemon and sometimes spices.
In Russia, kulich was considered so fragile a creation that bakers placed pillows around the pan of dough to stop it from falling! Often the initials XV (meaning Christ is risen) appear on top of the loaf--either sprinkled on the frosting with colored sugar or icing or shaped on top of the loaf with small strips of dough. The top slice traditionally is served to the guest of honor or the senior member of the family. What a delicious tradition!