1 hr 15 mins
A successful babka--rich, tender, fine textured, spongy, and very light--is a great triumph of a Ukrainian homemaker.
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Units: US | Metric
FOR THE SPONGE
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages dry yeast
- 1 cup scalded milk, lukewarm
- 1 cup flour
- 1Dissolve the sugar in the lukewarm water, sprinkle the yeast over it, and let stand until softened.
- 2FOR THE SPONGE: Combine dissolved yeast with the lukewarm milk and 1 cup of flour.
- 3Beat well, cover, and allow the sponge to rise in a warm place until light and bubbly.
- 4Beat the eggs with the salt, add the sugar gradually, and continue beating.
- 5Beat in the butter and lemon rind.
- 6Combine this mixture with the sponge.
- 7Stir in the flour and KNEAD IN THE BOWL for about 10 minutes.
- 8This dough should be slightly thicker than for the usual babka mixture.
- 9Knead in the raisins.
- 10Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
- 11Punch down, knead a few times, and let it rise again.
- 12Butter tall, round baking pans (or coffee cans) with soft butter sprinkling them lightly with fine bread crumbs and fill them ONE-THIRD FULL.
- 13I like to use greased parchment paper on the bottom and sides of pan.
- 14For this recipe you will need about 2 or 3 large coffee cans.
- 15If you are going to use smaller cans, you will need more of them and use your judgment to how many you will need.
- 16Adjust baking time for the smaller cans.
- 17Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough reaches the brim of the pan.
- 18Brush the loaves with a beaten egg diluted with 2 Tablespoons of milk or water.
- 19Bake in a moderately hot oven (400 degrees F) for about 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F.
- 20,and continue baking for 40 minutes longer, or until done.
- 21Avoid browning the top too deeply.
- 22If necessary, cover with aluminum foil.
- 23Remove the baked loaves from the oven and let them stand in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes.
- 24Tip each loaf very gently from the pan onto a cloth-covered pillow.
- 25Do not cool the loaves on a hard surface.
- 26This is extremely important.
- 27Careless handling of the baked babka may cause it to fall or settle.
- 28As the loaves are cooling, change their position very gently a few times to prevent settling.
- 29If desired, the cooled loaves may be iced or glazed and decorated with bakers' confetti.
- 30This is the custom in the old country.
- 31Babka is always sliced in rounds across the loaf.
- 32The sliced bottom crust serves as a protective cover, and it is put back to prevent the loaf from drying.
- 33BABKA WITH PUMPKIN: This is a very old recipe, but it is worth preserving.
- 34Mashed pumpkin imparts a mellow, yellow color to babka and keeps it fresh and soft for days.
- 35A fewer number of eggs is required when pumpkin is used.
- 36Follow the preceding recipe for Country Babka.
- 37Add 1/2 to 2/3 cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1/2 cup of orange juice and about 4 eggs.
- 38Add enough flour to give a soft dough.
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Nutritional Facts for Ukrainian Country Babka
Serving Size: 1 (2087 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 3235.0
- Calories from Fat 1044
- Total Fat 116.1 g
- Saturated Fat 66.4 g
- Cholesterol 895.6 mg
- Sodium 2107.5 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 482.1 g
- Dietary Fiber 15.7 g
- Sugars 149.5 g
- Protein 70.8 g