Polish Babka With Optional Cheese Filling
photo by Rita1652
- Ready In:
- 1⁄4 ounce dry yeast
- 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water
- 10 tablespoons soft butter
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 lemon zest
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
- 5 cups flour, sifted
- 1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
- 1 cup white raisins or dried cherries, or
- 1 cup dried cranberries (soaked in hot apple juice for 15 minutes and drained)
- 1⁄3 cup fine unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1⁄4 cup sliced almonds
Optional Cheese Filling
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 pinch saffron (added to the warm water above) (optional)
- Add yeast to lukewarm (hot will kill the yeast)water and let stand until softened or dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, add salt to egg yolks and beat until thick; then add to sugar and butter mixture.
- Add yeast and water, lemon rind, cinnamon and cardamom.
- Add flour alternately with milk and beat well to make a smooth batter.
- Add raisins and knead by hand until batter leaves the fingers.
- Let rise in a warm draft free place until double (about 1-1/2 hours). Punch down and let rise again until double.
- Generously butter a fluted tube pan. Sprinkle with fine bread crumbs and fill with dough. Brush with mixture of egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water. Sprinkle with almonds and let rise again. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 45-60 minutes.
- Mix cheese filling ingredients together.
- Place 1/2 the dough in the prepared pan place the filling mixture on the center of the dough, place the rest of the dough on the mixture. Try to pinch the dough together so filling is encased inside. Or roll out into a log about 20x 10. Then place cheese filling in the center down the long side of the roll, bringing the sides over to encase the filling. Then place into prepared pan and let rise 30 minutes. Brush with eggwash and sprinkle with almonds. Bake 350 for 45-60 minutes.