The dough is very loose for a bread dough. It is more like a thick batter. You beat it in your mixer just enough to give the gluten a nudge, but not so much that you get chew in your final texture. Then after two long rests (that hardly yield any rising results) you throw the whole thing in the oven and wish for best. Soak it in syrup, toss on a little glaze and holy moly!
Babka is the Polish word for grandmother and it seems that everyone's grandmother made it just a bit differently. If you look around there are so many variations. I can't speak for the rest, but this one is worth making!
I made this to bring to Nana and Mike's house. They were having us over for a pre-Easter dinner and I thought this would be fun to share with them. I glazed it while it was still warm and cut a slice for a picture. I couldn't wait!! So, I had them all over for a warm babka mid-afternoon snack. The funniest part was when I offered up some babka, they all thought I was saying vodka! Every time somebody new entered the conversation we'd have to explain it again!
1/2 cup warm milk
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 raisins, soaked in warm water for at least a half hour and then drained
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
1/2 tsp lemon extract
- In your stand mixer bowl, mix together milk, eggs, yeast and flour with your paddle
- Add flour, butter sugar and salt. Mix on low until blended and then on high for two minutes
- Fold in the raisins
- Cover and let sit for an hour. There won't be much of a noticeable rise, that is ok
- Dump into a greased bundt pan and spread evenly around. Cover and let sit for another half hour. There will be a slight rise, but not huge (notice the pictures above)
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for about 30 minutes
- While bread is baking, make the syrup. Bring the sugar and water to a boil and cook until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the extract
- When bread is done, remove from oven and pierce with a skewer or fork. Pour syrup over the top and let sit for 20 minutes to soak into the babka
- Invert your bundt pan on to a serving dish
- Mix together powdered sugar, milk and extract for the glaze. Drizzle over the top
We enjoyed the babka at room temperature, but it was REALLY good still warm. The would make an excellent brunch item and we enjoyed it both as a dessert and mid-afternoon snack. It is certainly sweet, but not too sweet.