Dissolve the sugar in the lukewarm water, sprinkle the yeast over it, and let
stand until softened.
Combine with the lukewarm milk and 1 cup of flour. Beat well,
cover, and allow the sponge to rise in a warm place until light and bubbly.
Beat the eggs with the salt, add the sugar gradually, and continue beating.
Beat in the butter and lemon rind.
Combine this mixture with the sponge. Stir in the flour and knead in the bowl
for about 10 minutes. This dough should be slightly thicker than for the usual babka
Knead in the raisins.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
Punch down, knead a few times, and let it rise again.
Butter tall, round baking
pans (or coffee cans) with soft butter and fill them one-third full. I like to use
greased parchment paper on the bottom of pan.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough reaches the brim of the pan.
Bake in a moderately hot oven (400
degrees F) for about 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and
continue baking for 40 minutes longer, or until done. Avoid browning the top too
deeply. If necessary, cover with aluminum foil.
Remove the loaves from the pans and allow them to cool.
Babka with Pumpkin
This is a very old, but it is worth preserving. Mashed pumpkin imparts a mellow,
yellow color to babka and keeps it fresh and soft for days. A fewer number of eggs
is required when pumpkin is used.
Follow the preceding recipe for Country Babka. Add 1/2 to 2/3 cup of cooked,
mashed pumpkin, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of orange juice and about 4 eggs.
Add enough flour to give a soft dough.
Posted by Olga at Recipe Goldmine March 20, 2002 15:31:07.