Babka is a rich yeast-raised cake bread. A successful babka, the pride of every Polish/Ukrainian homemaker, is rich, tender, fine-textured, and very light. Traditionally, this bread is baked in tall round baking pans. Coffee cans can be lined with baking parchment and used instead.
Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Place 1/3 cup flour in a large bowl and pour milk over flour. Beat until smooth. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Pour into cooled milk and beat well. Let rise in a warm place until bubbly.
Stir 2 eggs, egg yolks, butter, vanilla and lemon rind into milk/yeast mixture. Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When a loose dough has formed, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Gently knead in raisins.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. Deflate the dough and let rise again until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and form into round loaves. Place the loaves into well buttered tall, round baking pans. Do not fill the pans more than 1/3 full. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until tripled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a small bowl, beat egg with 2 tablespoons water. Lightly brush this mixture onto the risen loaves. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake for 30 minutes more. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C) and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Let loaves stand 5 to 10 minutes before removing from pans. Transfer loaves very gently onto a cloth covered pillow (never a hard surface as this may cause the babka to settle or fall). Change position of loaves during cooling period.
Per Serving: 331 calories; protein 8.9g; carbohydrates 42.3g; fat 14g; cholesterol 199.5mg; sodium 93.8mg.
The quality of the flour can make a real difference to your bread. Different makers do vary. Extra-strong or Canadian flours, which are bet higher in gluten, may give you a best rise than standard bread flours – especially if you’re make wholemeal dough , which doesn’t always getting bigger as well as white bread.
To make this in a dough , add all the menus to your breadmaker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
A bread first rising can be make in the fridge overnight . This slows down the time it takes to rise to double its size, giving it a deeper flavour. It’s also a great timesaver , as you can work it yesterday , then finish it off the next day.