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Sweet Babka Easter Bread

Prep Time: 220 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 250 minutes

Servings: 30

Celebrate Easter with our Sweet Babka Easter Bread recipe. This traditional Eastern European sweet yeast bread can be served with breakfast, dinner, or even as a dessert.

Ingredients

Directions

Step 1

Scald 1.5 cups milk in small pot by heating milk to a near boil, remove from heat.

Step 2

Add 1 cup of the hot milk in large pot. Add ¾ cup flour to milk. Stir till smooth.

Step 3

Let ¼ cup milk sit till lukewarm, discard any leftover milk from 1.5 cup total. To this remaining milk, add 1 tbsp. sugar and 2 yeast cakes, crumbled. Mix until there are no lumps. Cover, and let form a sponge (about 20 minutes), no liquid will be left on the bottom.

Step 4

After the yeast sponge forms, add to the flour & milk mixture above, cover with a pot lid or dish towel and sit aside for ½ hour until sponge bubbles.

Step 5

Beat egg yolks with salt and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until creamy.

Step 6

When sponge forms and bubbles, add egg mixture, beat well.

Step 7

Add remaining 3-1/4 cup flour and vanilla. Work till satin smooth.

Step 8

Add 1/2 cup melted butter and kneed mixture with hands. (You can use a bread dough hook on a stand mixer.)

Step 9

Stir in golden raisin.

Step 10

Cover with pot lid or dish towel. Let the dough rise someplace warm until dough doubles in volume, about 1-1/2 hours. Once it doubles in size, knock it down, and cover with a pot lid or dish towel to rise again in a warm place, about 1-1/2 hours.

Step 11

Butter bread pans well with butter.

Step 12

Above dough has risen twice, knead well on board with flour.

Step 13

Separate into 3 sections and place in 3 well buttered bread pans. Flatten dough to ends of pan.

Step 14

Scrape remaining dough down the sides of bowl (about 1/3 cup of dough).

Step 15

Stir in 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter with dough scraps.

Step 16

Stir in 1/3 cup flour. The consistency should be like play-doh and you should feel the grit of the sugar. If not, add more butter, sugar, and/or flour.

Step 17

Place dough scraps topping on top of bread, pressing slightly.

Step 18

Cover pans with a a dish towel. Let dough rise in the pans until light (reaches top of pans), about 2 hours.

Step 19

Bake at 325° for 27-30 minutes. Put tin foil under pans or a large baking sheet on rack below to catch possible drippings.

Step 20

May be served warm or cold, with or without butter on top.

Cook's Notes

Baking time is only 30 minutes but this dough needs to sit in a warm place to rise several times for 1-1/2 - 2 hours each time so plan to be around to attend to the dough throughout the day.

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