Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka Recipe

Ukrainian Babka

It isn’t Easter in my household until we eat this bread for 4-5 days until we have our fill, then are sated for yet another year.

It is a light, buttery yet slightly sweet yeast bread with raisins, baked in coffee tins and is so fantastic toasted with some butter on it. Or plain with margarine. Or toasted with anything on top.

It is also a labor of love and takes a few hours.

Ingredients Needed:

Yeast & Proofing
1/2 cup of warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp of traditional yeast

1 cup of butter
2 cups of milk
1 cup of water
3/4 cup of white sugar
2 tsp of salt
6 egg yolks
2 cups of raisins
1/2 tsp tumeric
8-9 cups of flour

7 small coffee tins

Now, I put the butter, milk and sugar in a pot and brought it to a near boil, you want to slightly scald the milk.

Then I called my mother and during that conversation she mentions that she throws it all into the microwave and nukes it until it’s incredibly hot.

Now, that is certainly not how my predecessors did it. However, this modern woman on her second batch used the microwave.

And it works like a charm!

Now you have to let the mixture cool and adding in that cup of water certainly helps, thus the reason we leave it until the end here.

Take the warm water and sugar, mix in your yeast thoroughly and let it start bubbling away.

Beat your egg yolks and tumeric. The tumeric gives the bread it’s lovely color. You can also use 3 whole eggs instead of the 6 egg yolks but the yolks make a richer bread. So 3 eggs OR 6 yolks, folks.

Add it to the cooled milk mixture.

Then add the yeast.

I used the mixer for this now because it is one heck of a job.  Mix the salt into the flour then add in the first four cups of flour, then your raisins. Then slowly add another 4-5 cups until the dough is slightly sticky.

My dough always climbs the hook eventually so I used the mixer to get it combined and kneaded as much as possible then removed it and kneaded it on the counter for a while.

Once that’s done it needs to rise. Put it into a bowl(s) in a nice warm place.

Cover it of course.

Once it’s doubled in size, it’s time to punch it down and put it in the tins to rise again. You want to fill the tins only half way with punched down dough, this dough rises like you wouldn’t believe!

Grease the ever lovin’ heck out of those coffee tins. I only had 6 this year, so you can also use a loaf pan as well. This would make a perfect 7 tins.

Time to let it rise again, I had a nice warm stove from banana bread so they sat on there. Let them rise until they are almost at the top. They will rise in the oven as well when they start baking, which is why you want them only to rise barely to the top of the tin.

Remove all the oven racks except the bottom one. Kick the tires and light the fires to 325 degrees.

Bake for 30-40 minutes on the very bottom rack, the tops get very golden brown but don’t fear, the inner part has to cook and the tops get brown and stay brown.

Cool very slightly in the tins then remove to make sure the bread doesn’t sweat and the bottoms don’t get soggy.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Traditional Ukrainian Babka, or Easter Bread.
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp of traditional yeast
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups of raisins
  • ½ tsp tumeric
  • 8-9 cups of flour
  • 7 small coffee tins
  • One beaten egg to brush the tops with
Instructions
  1. Place the butter, milk and sugar in a pot and bring it to a near boil, you want to slightly scald the milk. You can also heat it in the microwave as well to the point of scalded. (near boil)
  2. Add in the cup of cold water and let the mixture cool.
  3. Take the ½ cup of warm water and sugar, mix in your yeast thoroughly and let it start bubbling away.
  4. Beat your egg yolks and tumeric. The tumeric gives the bread it’s lovely color. (You can also use 3 whole eggs instead of the 6 egg yolks but the yolks make a richer bread. So 3 eggs OR 6 yolks)
  5. Add it to the cooled milk mixture.
  6. Then add the yeast mixture to the bowl.
  7. I used the mixer for this now because it is one heck of a job. Mix the salt into your flour then add in the first four cups of flour, then your raisins. Then slowly add another 4-5 cups until the dough is slightly sticky. The dough should stick to your hand very slightly, but be a nice elastic dough.
  8. My dough always climbs the hook eventually so I used the mixer to get it combined and kneaded as much as possible then removed it and kneaded it on the counter for a while.
  9. Once that’s done it needs to rise. Put it into a bowl(s) in a nice warm place and cover it with a damp tea towel.
  10. Once it’s doubled in size, it’s time to punch it down and put it in the tins to rise again. You want to fill the tins only half way with punched down dough, this dough rises like you wouldn’t believe!
  11. Grease the ever lovin’ heck out of those coffee tins. (I use the medium size, the 13-16 oz coffee tins, NOT the large ones!) This would make a perfect 7 tins. You can also make it in a loaf pan.
  12. Time to let it rise again, Let the dough rise until it is are almost at the top o the can. They will rise in the oven as well when they start baking, which is why you want them only to rise barely to the top of the tin.
  13. Remove all the oven racks except the bottom one. Kick the tires and light the fires to 325 degrees.
  14. Bake for 30-40 minutes on the very bottom rack, the tops get very golden brown but don’t fear, the inner part has to cook and the tops get brown and stay brown.
  15. Once they are nearly done brush with the beaten egg and cook until the bread is finished.
  16. The bread will sound hollow on top when tapped & be a lovely brown.
  17. Cool very slightly in the tins then remove to make sure the bread doesn’t sweat and the bottoms don’t get soggy.
  18. If they stick slightly in the tins, twist and shake gently at the same time, they will pop right out.
  19. If they stick in the loaf pans, run a knife along the edge to free the bread then remove safely.
  20. Cool on racks for a couple of hours. If you can wait!

 

89 comments
Judy Burton
Judy Burton

It needed about 11 cups of flour...First rise was awesome... Punched it downed and put into pans and it did not rise very much,... Still In the oven....Smells good

TiffanyJerry
TiffanyJerry

Also meant to add, it only made 5 loafs (4 small ones, 1 bigger one), not 7.

TiffanyJerry
TiffanyJerry

oh, and a Ukranian friend of mine says that this is Paska, not Babka. Babka is a frosted cake type thing. ;)

TiffanyJerry
TiffanyJerry

I came across this a few days ago and decided to make it. I just made it this morning, and am eating my first slice right ow. It is SO GOOD!! Buttered was good, my hubby likes it toasted. Kids loved it. Will make this a staple each Easter I think! Thank you!

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@TiffanyJerry Thanks for letting me know! I am so glad that you'll make it again, it's sooo good buttered with toast!

Doreen Szor
Doreen Szor

My Baba made it she used saffron for the color and flavor!

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

Theodore Lichacz you should try making it yourself..you can bake it in a loaf pan as well.

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

Oooh I am so jealous!! I didn't have time this year!! It looks AMAZING!

Adiner IsRealer
Adiner IsRealer

Oh this sure brings back memories of my Mom. She made hers in the metal cans. And I too would want to eat the while loaf!

Donna Woychuk
Donna Woychuk

In our family, this is babka and paska is a braided bread baked in a round pan, not as rich and no raisins. So pretty :-)

Donna Woychuk
Donna Woychuk

Just made mine yesterday. I add candied fruit to mine as well as raisins and finely grated orange rind. So yummy!!

Tama'ra J Lawrence-Olenczuk
Tama'ra J Lawrence-Olenczuk

Just cause i havmt tried it and think its gross. Dont mean u cannot classify my self. Have some respect yourself. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Theodore Lichacz
Theodore Lichacz

I've haven't had since my Mom passed away. She made it so good you couldn't stop eating it, I would eat a whole loaf at a sitting.

Anna Sauro
Anna Sauro

My neighours always made this Ukranian Easter bread. It was sooo good toasted, and I thought it was ingenious to bake them in soup cans,.

Manon Dubois-Kulay
Manon Dubois-Kulay

If you think this traditional Ukrainian Easter paska bread looks gross----doesn't seem like you can call yourself Ukrainian?! Show some respect, for different cultures & different foods, you may be surprised at trying something new!

Mariana Paul Casey
Mariana Paul Casey

Well Tamara you are the first Ukrainian that thinks anything related to bread, or bread dough is weird .... I bet you don't like pierogies too...

Julie Scriver
Julie Scriver

and after Easter you make french toast with it. Very yummy!

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

It's just for color, really, you can leave the turmeric out if you want but the yellow color is so pretty for Easter!

Laurie McKendry
Laurie McKendry

I've never had raisin bread with turmeric, just cinnamon. :) I'll have to try making it some time. Are there instructions for baking in pans if we don't have coffee tins?

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

It IS a raisin bread and SO good. It's just an eggy bread with raisins that is amazing toasted with butter!

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

As a Ukrainian, its your duty! It;s also a really delicious eggy bread. Mmm.

Laurie McKendry
Laurie McKendry

I'm confused. What looks gross? It looks like a raisin bread, almost.

Jennifer Print
Jennifer Print

I have not been able to make this since moving back to Ontario. Made it a couple if times in Calgary. Worked great and was yummy... Moved East and pffft no work. Boo :-P

Jennifer Print
Jennifer Print

I thought the same thing until I made it... And its actually really good!!

Amy Melby
Amy Melby

I'm not a fan of it, but I wouldn't say it looks gross, lol

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

Have you made it or eaten it before? It's amazing! Try it you might like it....

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

? Never seen bread dough before? That's the weirdest comment I've ever read!

Sandy Omland
Sandy Omland

\U0001f430\U0001f430\U0001f430 \U0001f44d

wyliekinson
wyliekinson

Great recipe - very similar to my mom's Babka (she's from the Ukraine). I've helped her make it in the past, but this is the first year I'll be doing it on my own. She doesn't use turmeric, however. We always use saffron to give it the color. Happy Easter!

Amy
Amy

Thanks for the recipe! I inherited a recipe (labeled "Easter bread" or "paska") from my husband's family. 

Amy
Amy

Thanks for the recipe! I inherited a recipe (labeled "Easter bread" or "paska") from my husband's family. I've always had trouble with the dough being ridiculously sticky, so I thought I'd try a different recipe this year. Even once I've added in the full amount of flour, the dough is still closer to batter than to bread dough. Last night I added probably an additional 2 cups of flour by the time I was done. From your experience, is this likely an issue of needing additional time for kneading (needing kneading - ha!) or the need for more flour? 


My loaves are in the oven now - can't wait to taste them because they smell delicious :)

Lexkelmo
Lexkelmo

i used this recipe last year in place of our "family" recipe for Babka and was so happy with the results.  I made it again today and I am just as happy!  Wonderful dough and it kneads so well in my 6 Qt. Kitchen Aid.  Rise is fantastic and the texture is amazing.  Thank you for a wonderful old world recipe.

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Lexkelmo  SO glad that you liked it! We ate it for breakfast this morning ...and will eat it tomorrow... and the day after..make sure to check out my Babka Monkey Bread recipe on here as well, it's the best thanks to this dough! Happy Easter!

Trackbacks