Babka is a rich yeast-raised cake bread. A successful babka, the pride of every Polish/Ukrainian homemaker, is rich, tender, fine-textured, and very light. Traditionally, this bread is baked in tall round baking pans. Coffee cans can be lined with baking parchment and used instead.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
1 hr
additional:
2 hrs
total:
3 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
15
Yield:
3 - 6 inch diameter loaves
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Ingredients

15
Original recipe yields 15 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Place 1/3 cup flour in a large bowl and pour milk over flour. Beat until smooth. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Pour into cooled milk and beat well. Let rise in a warm place until bubbly.

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  • Stir 2 eggs, egg yolks, butter, vanilla and lemon rind into milk/yeast mixture. Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When a loose dough has formed, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Gently knead in raisins.

  • Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. Deflate the dough and let rise again until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

  • Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and form into round loaves. Place the loaves into well buttered tall, round baking pans. Do not fill the pans more than 1/3 full. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until tripled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  • In a small bowl, beat egg with 2 tablespoons water. Lightly brush this mixture onto the risen loaves. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake for 30 minutes more. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C) and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

  • Let loaves stand 5 to 10 minutes before removing from pans. Transfer loaves very gently onto a cloth covered pillow (never a hard surface as this may cause the babka to settle or fall). Change position of loaves during cooling period.

Nutrition Facts

331 calories; protein 8.9g; carbohydrates 42.3g; fat 14g; cholesterol 199.5mg; sodium 93.8mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (12)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2003
My family truly enjoyed the Bread It is a great dough The moistness is excellant. Thank you for sharing. It will remain in my best of recipies. Read More
(51)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/14/2009
I found the bread to be a little to dry. It was also heavy. Flavor was good next time I will cut back on the lemon zest. I will try bread flour instead of the all porpuse flour to see if it lightens it up. May try cutting out second rise. Read More
(11)
15 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2003
My family truly enjoyed the Bread It is a great dough The moistness is excellant. Thank you for sharing. It will remain in my best of recipies. Read More
(51)
Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2005
This recipe is wonderful. Very light. If you like Babka, you will like this. Follow step by step and you will have success. Just like my moms, except she put on a sugary top which I love. Does anyone know how to add that to this recipe? Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
04/24/2008
This weekend is Russian easter. My family (Grandmother and her sisters) traditionally go to church and get their babka's blessed on Saturday. My great aunt used to make them but since she has passed no one kept the tradition until this year a couple of weeks ago I "tested" this recipe out after looking around and sure enough Grandma approved and said tasted JUST like her sisters...So now I'm stuck making them all day today and tomorrow!! We do it in coffee cans no liner just greased and we do not add raisins. We ice it with powdered sugar corn syrup and a little water and add sprinkles for the kids. Read More
(22)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/24/2008
Wonderful! It is almost identical to the recipe my Ukrainian Baba (grandmother) use to make. I like a few more raisins but the flavor is delicious. Also as a warning to the Babka uninitiated...NEVER try to use a mixer (even a heavy duty stand mixer) you will burn out your motor because this is a very thick sticky dough. Read More
(20)
Rating: 4 stars
04/11/2004
I have made this Babka twice now... away from my grandmother's traditional recipie which no one knows. I followed this exactly the first time the second time I added more raisins. Both times I ended up with three separate loaves - one baked in an angel food cake pan and two in regular bread pans. They all turned out wonderful; however turns out a little on the dry side and not sure how to correct it. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
04/11/2004
Authentic recipe! This babka tastes just like the kind you buy at a Polish bakery. Read More
(12)
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Rating: 3 stars
04/14/2009
I found the bread to be a little to dry. It was also heavy. Flavor was good next time I will cut back on the lemon zest. I will try bread flour instead of the all porpuse flour to see if it lightens it up. May try cutting out second rise. Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
04/13/2009
omg i love this recipe i have mine from an old cook book from poland of course. and it is simply delicous. But i had lost the recipe and found yours and it is simply terrific! Read More
(9)
Rating: 4 stars
03/25/2005
This was good my first babka. Too much work to make on any regular basis. I also think it should be refridgerated after only two days (wrapped) it tasted like it may have gone bad. Must be the eggs. Read More
(9)
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