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Title:Easter Babka
Easter Babka

Source: Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Makes three 8-inch cakes

1 cup (2 sticks) plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter,
    room temperature, plus more for bowl and pans
2 cups milk
1 fresh cake yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
5 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand
    Marnier or Cointreau (optional)
Grated zest of 2 oranges
Grated zest of 1 lemon
9 to 10 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 1/2 cups currants
1 1/2 cups dark raisins
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 cup chopped slivered almonds
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Butter three 8-inch kugelhopf molds; set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat milk until just below the boiling point. Add 2 sticks butter to hot milk, and stir until melted. Remove from heat, and let cool until lukewarm.

Place yeast in a small bowl, and pour 1/2 cup warm water over, stirring with a spoon to break up the yeast and combine. Set aside for 2 to 3 minutes.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 4 eggs and the egg yolks until combined. Add sugar and salt, and continue to beat until thick and pale. Add vanilla, orange-flavored liqueur, orange and lemon zests, and yeast mixture; combine. Add 4 cup flour gradually, then add the milk mixture, alternating with remaining 4 cup flour while beating on medium speed. Up to an additional 1 cup flour may be added if the dough is sticky. Add currants, dark raisins, golden raisins, and almonds, and mix to combine.

Transfer dough to a large bowl, and knead using a large wooden spoon until the dough pulls away and doesn't stick to the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer dough to a large buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until dough reaches top of bowl, 1 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down, and let rise again, covered, in a warm place until the dough reaches the top of the bowl, 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make crumb topping: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 4 tablespoons butter, the light-brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly on the bottoms of the three molds.

Punch the dough down again, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 1 minute. Cut dough into thirds. Transfer dough to prepared molds, covering loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise to top of pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center.

Make an egg glaze: In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg, and brush it on top of dough. Bake until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped, 30 to 45 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack, and let cool.

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