Polish Babka

I have been searching for a recipe that would turn out my Grandma’s babka, but, alas, I cannot find one that compares. After years of Grandma’s being passed around, something is surely missing as it just does not turn out the right product. This one is close – it has most of the right ingredients and it turns out a really nice tasting babka that is quite traditional (like many of the Polish delis sell), but it is not my Grandma’s babka. Hers was much flatter and less dense – it was drier and airier. It was more a cross between a cake and a bread (she even cooked it in a 9×13 pan rather than a bundt or in bread pans) whereas this one is more the traditional heavier bread. So if you’re looking for a traditional babka recipe, this is a great one to try.

If anyone out there knows of how to get the babka tasting more like I remember, please let me know !!

Polish Babka
Polish Babka

20 servings
239 calories per serving

6 c flour
1 t salt
1 package of yeast
½ c warm water
¾ c sugar
1 ½ c skim milk
1 stick unsalted butter
¾ c golden raisins
2 eggs, beaten
1 egg yolk
2 T water
Pam

Soak raisins in some warm water to plump them up a little then drain before adding to dough. Heat milk in a saucepan then add the butter and cook on low until the butter is melted. Pour into a mixing bowl and add sugar and salt and cool for 20 minutes. Mix the yeast and ½ c water and let sit 5 minutes then add it to the milk and sugar mix. Add in the 2 beaten eggs and then gradually add the flour and mix. Then knead the dough ½ hour by hand or 10-12 minutes in a mixer with a dough hook attachment. Add the raisins during the last couple minutes of kneading.

Cover the bowl with a towel and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour. Then punch down, re-cover and let it rise another hour.

Then take dough and place in a 13×9 pan (or in 2 bread pans). Mix the egg yolk and 2 T water and brush onto the top of the bread dough. Spray foil with Pam and cover pan and let rise again until doubled – again, about an hour.

Then uncover and bake at 350 degrees for ½ hour for a 9×13 pan or 45 minutes for a large pan or bread pans. It’s done when you tape on it and it makes a hollow sound. Let cool and then cut into slices.

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