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Easter Babka


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for bowl and pans
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 fresh cake yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier orCointreau (optional)
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 9 to 10 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 1/2 cups currants
  • 1 1/2 cups dark raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
  • 1 cup chopped slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Butter three 8-inch kugelhopf molds; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat milk until just below the boiling point. Add 2 sticks butter to hot milk, and stir until melted. Remove from heat, and let cool until lukewarm.
  3. Place yeast in a small bowl, and pour 1/2 cup warm water over, stirring with a spoon to break up the yeast and combine. Set aside for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 4 eggs and the egg yolks until combined. Add sugar and salt, and continue to beat until thick and pale. Add vanilla, orange-flavored liqueur, orange and lemon zests, and yeast mixture; combine. Add 4 cup flour gradually, then add the milk mixture, alternating with remaining 4 cup flour while beating on medium speed. Up to an additional 1 cup flour may be added if the dough is sticky. Add currants, dark raisins, golden raisins, and almonds, and mix to combine.
  5. Transfer dough to a large bowl, and knead using a large wooden spoon until the dough pulls away and doesn't stick to the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer dough to a large buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until dough reaches top of bowl, 1 to 2 hours.
  7. Punch the dough down, and let rise again, covered, in a warm place until the dough reaches the top of the bowl, 1 to 2 hours.
  8. Meanwhile, make crumb topping: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 4 tablespoons butter, the light-brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly on the bottoms of the three molds.
  9. Punch the dough down again, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 1 minute. Cut dough into thirds. Transfer dough to prepared molds, covering loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise to top of pan.
  10. Heat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in center.
  11. Make an egg glaze: In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg, and brush it on top of dough. Bake until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped, 30 to 45 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack, and let cool.

Yield: three 8-inch cakes

Posted by jerseyjan at Recipe Goldmine 3/31/02 5:24:29 am.