Raisin-Walnut Babka

Babka is a Polish yeast bread made with a rich dough (with milk, butter, and sugar). Often it has fruit and nuts; some people add chocolate, cheese, or other fruit. I based this recipe on one from a church cookbook from St. Casimir Parish in Riverside, NJ, making adjustments for the bread machine.

Raisin-Walnut Babka

Makes 12 servings

1 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp active dry yeast

Fruit and nuts:
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Egg wash:
1 egg
2 tbsp water

Add bread ingredients to your bread machine in order recommended by the manufacturer. Do not add the fruit and nuts at this time. Select the dough cycle. When the machine beeps to indicate time to add the fruit, put that into the pan and if the dough is very wet, add 1/4 cup more flour.

When the dough cycle is complete, turn out onto floured surface. Prepare baking pans. I used an 8-inch round cake pan and a mini-Corning Ware dish, and brushed both with vegetable shortening. Divide dough and shape for baking. Place in pan and rise 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Slash the tops of the babka with a sharp knife (I did not do this and they rose unevenly in the oven because of that). Brush the tops of the loaves with egg wash.

Bake about 35 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned.

This would fill 2 standard loaf pans or 1 10-inch round cake pan (that size will need to bake longer).

Copyright 2021 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

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