This one is another family recipe, a traditional Babka, that makes excellent ham sandwiches!
My great grandmother was quite the cook and baker, but she lacked a knack for formal recipes. When it came time to make this bread, I had 3 of her recipes in front of me, all of them a little different :) Different amounts of butter or different ways of combining the ingredients, I tried to use my intuition but I think i'd make a few adjustments next time (i'll note them in the recipe below). This is a basic sweet dough, that can be used as the base of Poppyseed or Date Bread (which were also staples at our table). I haven't tackled those yet though, one thing at a time!
adapted from Babci's recipes
1c milk (I used Lactaid)
1/2c butter (I used salted here)
1t salt (increase if using unsalted butter)
1/2c warm water
scant 1T sugar
4-6c AP flour
1t grated lemon peel (can use dried lemon peel)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2c raisins (more if you want it to be more of a raisin bread)
In a small pot, combine milk, butter, 1/2c sugar and salt. Heat on low until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. This is important, you don't want to kill your yeast (I did this at Christmas time... oops!).
Sprinkle yeast on warm water in a small bowl and add 1T sugar. Let stand ~5-10min (or more), it should be bubbly!
In the bowl of a mixer, add cooled milk mixture and beat little bit so it is well combined, then add the eggs and mix. Add 2c flour, lemon peel and raisins, beat well. Mix in the yeast. At this point you can change to the dough hook and knead in the bowl, or do it by hand. I chose to do most of it with the mixer (the dirty part) and finished it off by hand, on a floured surface. While kneading, add in enough flour so the dough starts to come away from the bowl and becomes smooth and no longer sticky. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until at least doubled.
Punch dough down after 1st rise. If you're making loaves, you can shape them however you want. If you were making Poppyseed Bread or other filled loaf, you would roll it out at this point and fill it accordingly. Let rise again 1.5-2hrs. Before baking, you can do an egg wash (I forgot for the first one, did for the second). Bake at 350deg for 30min + (depending on the size). The round free-form loaf I made took ~35min, while the tall one was done at 30min. They're done when they sound hollow when tapped. Then try really hard not to cut it before its cooled :)
|Anyone else see someone smiling at you??|
I've been so busy at work this week I'm behind on my blog reading, but I did come across a few contests... if you have any interest in Bob's Red Mill products, Barney Butter (just don't do this with it!!!), Everybody's Nuts, Mix My Granola, Zesty clothing, Jocolat and Glo bars, Honest Foods, or a Navan Foods gift certificate, you'd better get clicking! Phew, my fingers are tired, time to go rest :) Have a great weekend everyone!