Babka (Ukrainian Easter Bread)
|Title:||Babka (Ukrainian Easter Bread)|
3 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup warm water
7 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk (or cream or milk)
Zest of one orange, grated
1 teaspoon salt
5 to 5 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup raisins
Dissolve yeast and brown sugar in lukewarm water. Set aside.
Beat the egg yolks and the whole eggs together until thick and lemony. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until well blended.
Stir in the milk, yeast mixture, grated orange zest, and salt.
Gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough.
Knead in bowl until smooth, then knead in the cooled, melted butter. When the butter is worked in, knead in the raisins, and continue kneading until dough no longer sticks to hands.
Place in a buttered bowl, turning once, and cover with a towel. Let rise until doubled.
Punch down and let it rise again.
Divide dough into three portions and shape into balls.
Heavily grease three 2-pound coffee cans; fill each 1/3 full with balls of dough. I like to use greased parchment paper on bottom of cans. Babka will come out easier.
Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes; REDUCE heat to 300 degrees F and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes.
The bread may be covered with aluminum foil if it begins to brown too quickly.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before removing from tins. A powdered sugar icing tastes terrific on this Babka.
To Decorate Babka: Mix together 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and enough warm water to give a spreading consistency. Spread this icing over the top of babka and sprinkle with bakers' confetti.
The following is the traditional old country glaze for babka.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon honey or few drops of lemon juice
Cook the sugar, water, and honey or lemon juice together until the syrup forms a soft ball when a little of it is dropped into cold water. Remove the syrup from the range. Stir in one direction until it turns white. Some flavoring may be added, if desired. Spread the glaze over the top of babka and sprinkle with bakers' confetti.