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Easter Babka

Author/Submitted by:
Servings: 3
Categories: Cakes / Desserts / Easter

2  c  Milk
1/2  lb  (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2  pk  (2 T) dry yeast
1/4  c  Warm water
4  lg  Eggs
4  lg  Egg yolks
1  c  Sugar
1  t  Salt
    Zest of 2 oranges
    Zest of 1 lemon
1  t  Vanilla extract
1  tb  Orange-flavored liqueur
9  c  Sifted unbleached flour
1  c  Slivered almonds, chopped
1  c  Muscat raisins
1  c  Golden raisins
3  tb  Confectioners' sugar (opt.)
1 1/4  c  Confectioners' sugar mixed
1/4  c  Lemon juice AND
1  t  Water, for glaze

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, scald milk. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool to lukewarm. 2. In a small bowl, stir yeast into warm water; let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy. 3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, yolks, and sugar until thick. Add salt, zests, vanilla, and liqueur. Stir to combine. Stir in milk mixture, then yeast. 4. Add flour, a cupful at a time, until dough is moist but not sticky, mixing with a wooden spoon or your hands. Stir in almonds and raisins. 5. Knead dough on a floured board, adding more flour if dough is too sticky, until dough comes away from your hands, about 6 minutes. Place dough in a very large buttered bowl. 6. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rise again until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour. 7. Heat oven to 350'. Butter three 9-or 10-inch kugelhopf or angel-food-cake pans. Sprinkle pans with a tablespoon of confec- tioners' sugar, if desired. Divide dough into 3 portions and form into balls; arrange in pans and cover loosely. Let dough rise to tops of pans, about 30 minutes. 8. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until cakes are golden brown and tops make a hollow sound when tapped with knuckles. Cool for 5 minutes in pans; turn out onto racks and cool for 20 minutes more. 9. Spoon glaze onto babka, allowing it to drip over sides.

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