Babka, also known as Ukrainian Easter Bread, is something that we make every year, the kids and I, for Easter weekend. Babka is a glorious scalded milk and egg yolk bread, one of the richest yeast breads I’ve every eaten. (How could it not be, with pure egg yolks in it?).
This year I faced a dilemma : I had no coffee tins. It seems that every year I am scrounging for coffee tins, either they were accidentally recycled or they rusted on me over the past year. It is also VERY hard now to find coffee tins without a little lip inside, said lip hinders the removal of the bread from the tin.
I honestly hadn’t even thought about coffee tins, sure I knew that I would be making Babka this year but to be honest my scattered brain didn’t register that I needed something to bake it in.
I have two loaf pans so I set them to work immediately.
The dough from a full recipe of Babka will make 5 loaf pans or seven coffee tins.
As you can see, I made a full recipe and split it up. This will make two loaves and two bundts of Monkey Bread.
I’m not sure if you saw my Instagram of my kitchen canister find, but here they are, in their gorgeous turquoise glory!
Back to Babka!
This is what it will look like before rising.
Another tidbit of advice?
Don’t use an angel cake pan.
Sigh. I have brown sugar on the bottom of my oven. See? I make stupid mistakes as well. Man, I didn’t even think about it leaking through!
You could also make the monkey bread in a square pan if you wanted, the shape would just be different. I suggest a 9×13 pan.
I have halved this recipe so that it makes two Monkey Breads, which if you are having a large family gathering will be just perfect. Or perhaps, since the tradition with Babka is to give it away – you would take some to Church as well- you can make the large whole recipe (click here) and then divide it up between loaf pans and bundts.
I’m of the opinion if you are going to all this effort for homemade bread, you should make the whole deal however!
Happy Baking everyone!
Love you more than chocolate,
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- 1/4 cup of warm water
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp of traditional yeast
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbl of white sugar
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cups of raisins
- 1/4 tsp turmeric or saffron can be left out this colors it yellow
- 4- 41/2 cups of flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 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)Mix the cup of cold water and the hot milk in a bowl for a stand mixer. (or the large bowl you are using to combine all ingredients.)
- Take the 1/2 cup of warm water and sugar, mix in your yeast thoroughly and let it start bubbling away.
- Beat your egg yolks and turmeric. The turmeric 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)
- Add it to the cooled milk mixture in the mixer bowl.Then add the yeast mixture to the bowl.
- Using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, place the bowl of liquid ingredients on the mixer.
- Mix the salt into your flour then add in the first four cups of flour to the bowl with the dough hook going on the lowest speed, then add 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.
- Once that's done it needs to rise. Put it into a bowl in a nice warm place and cover it with a damp tea towel.Once it's doubled in size, it's time to punch it down.
- Divide the dough into two even pieces.
- Take the dough and on a lightly floured work surface roll each piece into a 9 inch by 9 inch square.
- Once you have that 9x9 square, mark off 9 sections, each way, so you are ending up with 81 lovely little squares.
- Cut the squares apart,making sure to separate them as you cut, they love to stick back together which defeats the purpose entirely.
- Melt the ½ cup of butter in a bowl.
- In a larger bowl combine the brown sugar and 2½ tsp of cinnamon.
- Rolls a dough square into a ball, dip it in the butter, dip it in the sugar mixture then place it in the bundt pan.
- Stagger the layers. Build like you would build a brick wall, staggering the layers so that the seams are not in the same place, building a lovely wall of dough.
- When finished, place a clean towel over the tops of the pans and let rise again.In about 45-50 minutes the dough will rise almost to the top of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 then place the bundt pans in the oven on the second from the bottom rack.
- To prevent the tops from browning too much, place a large oven sheet on a top rack above the bundts, thus preventing the top heat from over cooking the tops of the bundts.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- You can test the bread with a thermometer inserted into the middle, this eggy bread will be done around the 198-200 degree F mark. There's nothing worse than soggy monkey bread, so this is my trick to making sure it's done perfectly.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly then invert onto the serving plate.