Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Babka

Wow, what a week! I am busy trying to come up with some good recipes for my brie and herbs, so I am withholding from you guys ;-) Don't worry, I'm not leaving you empty handed in this post--I made you some bread!



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!

After the second rise

Babka
adapted from Babci's recipes



1c milk (I used Lactaid)
1/2c butter (I used salted here)
1/2c sugar
1t salt (increase if using unsalted butter)
2pkg yeast
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!

40 comments:

Elra said...

Ohh TFFN, Do you see me???? I am smilling, happy to see this post.
And so you know, I am drooling too. Looks really delicious sweety!
Cheers,
elra

Erica said...

that bread looks awesome! I just got finished baking some bread- love the homemade stuff!

Lauren said...

Shannon, this babka looks fantastic! My future mother-in-law makes a few loaves every Easter, so I'm excited to have a slice tomorrow :)

VeggieGirl said...

CLLLLLASSIC!!

Sharon said...

AHHHHHHH, I totally want some!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I love the shape!!

Maggie said...

That bread looks like a hat! I love family recipes :)

Balance, Joy and Delicias! said...

oh... I want that fresh bread!!! :D looks amazingly good!!!

Reeni♥ said...

I love it! It's like a huge demented mushroom! It looks fabulous!

Meg said...

Looks so delicious! I would have trouble not cutting into it before it cooled!

Sagan said...

Aha oh I love the shape. Looks tasty!

I heart baked brie. So melty.

Ricki said...

Looks wonderful! I like the addition of lemon zest in there, too. Wow, seems like there are so many giveaways on blogs these days! Will go check some of these out.

Tyler said...

wow yum, i love homemade bread! the one on the left looks like a chef's hat...so cute!

biz319 said...

I love homemade bread, not only for the taste, but how it smells while baking!

Happy Easter!

Emily said...

haha, love the bread! Homemade is the best!

Esi said...

Wow, that bread looks amazing.

lesley said...

Yum! Your bread looks awesome ... homemade bread is just the best!

Elina said...

Awesome looking babka!!

A Toronto girl out West said...

Thanks for the link back!

PS: The babka looks AWESOME!

Bridget said...

Hahaha I totally see the smiling face in the bread!!! Aww I havent had babka in AGES! My grandfather used to get it all the time at this local bakery...mmm, so good!!

Darius T. Williams said...

I bet this would make a great sandwich!

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Jess said...

That looks wonderful. I love the shape of the tall one.

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

I see the smile. :) I've only had chocolate and cinnamon Babka. So good! Love the Babka.

Kerstin said...

Your bread looks SO good - I love that you used your Great Grandma's recipes :)

Pam said...

I do see the smile. The babka looks AMAZING!

Annie said...

Love it!!!!!!!
That a is totally awesome looking bread. It kind of looks like a big chefs hat and I do so it smiling at me. SO CUTE!
Hope you had a good Easter :)

carla said...

BABKA will always remind me of Seinfeld---and I had no idea it was really a "thing."

burpandslurp said...

wow! what a glorious loaf! so tall and towering, bet it smelled and tasted amzing!

Fitnessista said...

that is SO beautiful!
you are seriously a baking genius :D
have a great day!

Joanne said...

The only babka I've ever had is the little pastries that are soaked in rum (mmmm). I think I would love this bread as well! I have been on a brie kick lately and can't wait to see what you cook up for it.

Fit Mommy said...

Wow. That looks amazing. And, I have never made bread rise, ever.

Amy said...

Wow, what impressive bread! It looks great.

5 Star Foodie said...

This babka looks wonderful! My grandmas and great grandmas didn't use any formal recipes either so I'm always trying to recreate their dishes.

HeatherBakes said...

That's awesome that you have your grandmother's recipes. My grandma was NOT a baker, sadly. Great job on the bread! I've never actually had babka before but that looks amazing... I like the little pots for the dough.

Maria said...

Nice job on the bread!! It looks fabulous!

Cate said...

It looks gorgeous!

Amy said...

haha, I see the smiley face!

How is it that every time you post about bread, I start to drool a bit? ummmm it looks amazing everytime.

eatingbender said...

That is so cool! I love how tall it is and I can definitely see a smile in there! How about you...are you smiling? I just wanted to check in because I know it's been crazy lately and wanted to see how you are doing!

Rosiecat said...

You're the bread-baking queen, my dear! What kind of container did you use to make the tall loaf? It's so funky!

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