Special breads made just for Easter are typical in many European countries; in Poland, Babka is the traditional Easter bread. It uses lots of eggs, since Lent is finally over; some recipes even call for dozens of eggs. This recipe for Polish Babka doesn’t use quite that many, but the texture is light, eggy, and delicious; it’s actually a cross between a bread and a cake. Making it in the automatic bread machine is easier than the traditional method. The Babka can also be made in a large dough mixer, but it requires 3 risings and two different sessions of heavy mixing, not to mention several extra hours of prep time.
Unlike most dough that forms a ball in the automatic bread machine, this dough is more like a thick batter; it never does form a ball, and it takes a bit of side scraping occasionally to get the ingredients to mix. However, hands-on time is minimal. Make sure the pan in the bread machine can accommodate a large loaf, since this recipe makes quite a bit of dough.
According to most Polish recipes, the traditional bread is served only with a dusting of powdered sugar. It’s better, though with a frosting glaze and prettier when covered with sprinkles in Easter colors. This delicious bread/cake isn’t overly sweet, so it makes a perfect dessert for Easter brunch.
16 Servings (1 tube or bundt loaf)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 orange juice or rum
1 1/4 cups water
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup soft butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups flour, divided
Rind of 1 orange (use the juice to soak the raisins)
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
- Mix the raisins and orange juice or rum in a small bowl and set aside.
- Measure the water, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, almond extract, butter, sugar, salt, 4 cups flour, and orange rind (in the order given) in the pan of the automatic bread machine.
- Set the machine to the Dough setting and start.
- After 5 minutes of mixing, use a rubber scraper to scrape down the sides and mix the dough. The dough will be very sticky and will not form a ball.
- Add the remaining 1 cup flour and run the machine for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, stop the machine, add the almonds and raisins, and restart the machine on the dough cycle.
- When the dough cycle is finished, spray a 10" tube or bundt pan liberally with non-stick spray.
- Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.
- Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- If the loaf is browning too much, cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Remove the Babka to a cooling rack, let cool 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow to cool.
- Place the cooled Babka on a serving platter; if it won't sit flat, slice a piece off the bottom with a serrated knife.
- Glaze: Mix the melted butter, powdered sugar, and enough milk to make a glazing consistency. Pour over the Babka. Decorate with Easter sprinkles, if desired.
Pour the dough into the pan, wet your hands, and adjust the dough so it is evenly spread in the pan.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 405 Calories from Fat 130
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 32% Protein 8% Carb. 58%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 153 mg
Sodium 399 mg
Total Carbohydrate 59 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 8 g
Protein 8 g
Vitamin A 14% Vitamin C 8% Calcium 0% Iron 9%