Easter: Babka Recipe

Wikipedia-Eastern and Central European babka, especially among Christians, is a spongy, brioche-like yeast cake that is traditionally baked for Easter Sunday. The cake is traditional in the lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, namely Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Western Russia , as well as among the Rusyns (Ruthenians) in northeastern Hungary and all over Romania, where it is called “colac”. Darra Goldstein, professor of Russian at Williams College says “babka comes from baba, a very tall, delicate yet rich yeast-risen cake eaten in Western Russia and Eastern Poland.”Traditional babka has some type of fruit filling, especially raisins, and is glazed with a fruit-flavored icing, sometimes with rum added. Modern babka may be chocolate or have a cheese filling.

Babka

 

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups margarine, softened
2 cups milk
2 (.25 ounce) packages active
���dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110
���degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)
3 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
10 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups currants
1-1/2 cups raisins
1-1/2 cups golden raisins
1 cup chopped blanched
���slivered almonds
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour

See Directions at polishrecipes.com

*There also exists a traditional Eastern European Jewish variety prepared during Passover in lieu of bread. Generally, this sort is not sweet and is prepared using crushed matzos with water, egg, and salt. Some Polish Jews refer to pancakes with these ingredients as bubbeleh, a name similar to babka.

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