Author Topic: OLGA'S UKRAINIAN EASTER BABKA  (Read 19630 times)

Olga Drozd

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« on: July 12, 2011, 02:17:25 PM »
Olga's Ukrainian Babka

This is a very spongy Babka. In this recipe I used (2 round Tablespoons) of fresh yeast . I love fresh yeast, it makes the dough rise very quickly and it does not have that yeasty smell or taste.  I did not have golden raisins so I used dark raisins. If you are using tall cylinder cans don't go over 7 inches in height or use coffee cans or honey cans. Don't make the Babka too high or it will hit the top of your oven and Babka will settle when you take it out. It is best to use parchment paper well greased to line your pans. Make sure parchment paper goes a few inches above your can. I used butter flavoured Crisco shortening to grease the pans or baking vegetable spray. You can add flavourings of your choice to your Babka - such as grated rind of 1 lemon or orange and 1 or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract or other favourite flavourings. This is a thick batter dough. For a very yellow Babka I use Naturegg Omega PRO eggs - sold in Loblaws and Metro -  OR from Conestoga Farms - free run hens diet containing marigold flower extract and natural vitamin E Omega-3 brown eggs my new favourite - sold at Walmart.

2 Tablespoons active dry yeast (2 envelopes)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 cup scalded milk
1 cup butter OR 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, large
6 egg yolks, large
6 cups all purpose flour
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sugar (add more if you like your Babka sweeter up to 1 cup sugar)
1/3 cup dark rum

Proof the yeast with the 1 teaspoon of sugar and ginger if using in the warm water.

Combine the scalded milk with the butter and 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Stir to melt butter and then let stand till lukewarm.  Add the eggs beaten with yolks. Check temperature and stir in yeast mixture.  Add half the flour and beat 5 minutes with an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. You can do this by hand using a wooden spoon but you must mix longer.  Add the rest of the flour to make a very heavy batter which holds together but is too soft to knead. Continue beating well until smooth and elastic.  Cover and let rise till double. This dough will rise fairly slowly so do not be impatient.  While dough is rising, soak raisins in rum. Stir batter down, drain the raisins, reserving the rum and stir the raisins into the dough.  Turn dough into a large 9 cup greased tube pan or Babka mold.

If you are using cylinder pans grease pans and grease parchment paper and fill them 1/3 full only. To fill cylinder pans grease your hands and pull up pieces of dough and gently drop them into the can to fill 1/3 full. With floured finger tips press and smooth out the top and if any raisins show on top just push them into the dough. I can't tell you how many pans to use because I don't know the size of your pans. Let them rise until double in size.

Preheat oven for 400 F. 

As soon as your Babka is ready to bake LOWER the temperature to 350 F.
and place them in the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a instant read thermometer reads 200 F.  or just under (Less time baking required for smaller Babka).

If you bake your Babka in a cylinder pan take them out of the oven and place them on something soft like folded soft towels on their side with the pan. Occasionally turn them.  After about 15 minutes remove them from the pan by pulling on the parchment paper and they will come out easily and keep them on their side until they cool and gently turn them once in a while or they will settle and become too wrinkled.

If you bake your Babka in a tube pan or Babka mold remove from pan and cool on rack.

To frost Babka -  sift icing sugar into a bowl and stir in some of the reserved rum until spreading consistency. Decorate with sprinkles.

Note: If you have an instant read thermometer, you can tell more precisely when your loaf is done.  Insert the thermometer into the center of the loaf; the bread is done if the internal temperature is 200F.  Some breads are done at slightly different temperatures, but the range for most loaves falls within 5 or 10 degrees of 200F., so it is a good figure to keep in mind.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 09:12:00 AM by Olga Drozd »