• 1½  ounces fresh yeast cake (45 grams)
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 5 pounds all-purpose flour (20 cups)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ¹/³ cup corn oil
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water (egg glaze)
  1. Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup water. Prepare a well in the center of the flour, add the yeast mixture, the salt, oil and egg white. Mix dough together with a fork or with your hands, then incorporate the flour. Add the balance of the water, 3 cups, a small amount at a time and mix this into the dough. Dust with flour if necessary to form a soft, moist dough that nevertheless can be handled. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover with a plastic sheet or towel and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes to double in size.

  2. Prepare the two styles of bread. Punch down the dough ball. Cut it into halves to be made into the randa style. Divide the other half into 3 equal pieces to be made into the parakh style. Dust with flour to enhance easy handling.

  3. Lightly oil a rectangular metal tray (a jelly-roll tray will do) about 12 X 20 inches. Place the larger ball in the center of the tray and press it down to the 4 corners with your fingers to prepare the randa style. Push a design into the dough with 4 fingertips by making a border 1½ inches in from the edge of the tray and ½ inch deep. Press this border in all around the entire dough sheet. Press an indentation in a straight line in 3 places the length of the tray from border to border, so that the design will consist of a dough sheet. Let rise for 15 minutes.

  4. Paint the top of the loaf completely and generously with the egg-yolk glaze. Bake on a rack in the center of a preheated 500 degrees F. oven for 20 minutes. Remove the bread and turn out on a rack to cool.

  5. To prepare the parkakh style: Oil a round cake or pie tin 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Take the 3 dough pieces indicated in step 2 and push them down to the edges of the 3 round tins. Take the parakh (a hand puncture 3 inches in diameter made of several concentric rings of dull-tipped pins held together in a wood handle) and press it firmly into the center of the dough almost to the bottom to shape a rosette design. It also prevents the dough from rising high at the center. 

In the absence of the parakh, make a design by puncturing the dough with the tines of a fork in a 3-inch-round circle. about 12 times. Paint the parakh generously with the egg glaze and bake in a 500 degrees F. oven for 20 minutes (as for the randa style). Remove and cool.

Note that the parakh may also be made with a large dough ball equal in quantity to the randa loaf. Use a large round pan of 12 to 14 inches in diameter. In this case the rosette design is made 6 times, once in the center and 5 times in satellite rosettes around it. Bake as directed for all styles.