Friday, April 10, 2009

Babka!

It wouldn't be the Easter season in my house without the family tradition that has been passed down for generations - Ukrainian Easter Babka!


I modify my recipe only slightly from the one listed below. For instance, traditionally, the bread is to be baked in 2 pound coffee tins but I never remember to save these early enough so I just use tin loaf pans.

Also, there is really supposed to be multi colored sprinkles on the tops of these loaves, but I didn't remember to pick any up and I had to just come to terms with the fact that this year - no sprinkles.

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Ingredients:

3 pkg. dry yeast
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup warm water
7 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk (or cream or milk)
1 orange, zest of, grated
1 tsp. salt
5 to 5-1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter, melted and cooled


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 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


Heavily grease three 2-pound coffee cans; fill each 1/3 full with balls of dough.

Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300°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.


Glaze:

2 cups icing sugar 2tsp lemon juice Add enough warm water to make a glaze

Serve it toasted with butter - YUM!

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