Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka, is one of the most beloved Easter traditions in my household. I come from a Ukrainian family and both of my Grandmother's would make Babka every Easter. When my Grandma wasn't around to make it, my Mom would then take over. I have been making Easter Bread since I had my own children and have taught them the tradition as well. This post was updated March 20, 2018 to include some new photos and a how-to video! I have left my old step by step photos in the post as they are very important and helpful!

Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka Recipe
Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka in coffee tins and in a Pyrex loaf pan

 

Ukrainian Babka Recipe

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. This recipe is called Babka by mainly Canadian Prairie Ukrainian settlers, as it has been argued ( as you can read in the comments!) that this is Paska. Now, here on the Prairies my Mom and Baba swore up and down that actual Paska is not a sweet bread, is braided and has no raisins. Here on the Prairies we tend to actually have our own little culture when it comes to being Ukrainians. We pronounce kielbasa as ” koooo-basa” – which is the ONLY place that it's pronounced like that! Isn't that strange? It's a uniquely Canadian prairie version of saying the word, however with our very large population of Ukrainian settlers it's no less authentic, just as calling this Babka is no less authentic. Ways and words were changed when my ancestors arrived here and adapted to a new life. 

Also on another interesting note, it's unique to the Edmonton area that we spell it “perogy” instead of pierogi. We have a Perogy House here, it's just how we spell it sometimes!

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Ukrainian Babka

What is Easter Bread or Ukrainian Babka?

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:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp of traditional yeast
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 8-9 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of raisins
  • 7 small coffee tins
  • One beaten egg to brush the tops with

    Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka in coffee tins and in a Pyrex loaf pan
    Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka in coffee tins and in a Pyrex loaf pan 

Now, I put the butter, milk and 3/4 cup of white 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 1 tsp of sugar, mix in your yeast thoroughly and let it start bubbling away.

yeast proofing for Ukrainian Babka/Paska or Ukrainian Easter Bread
yeast proofing for Ukrainian Babka/Paska or Ukrainian Easter Bread

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.

eggs and turmeric mixed together for Ukrainian Babka/Paska or Ukrainian Easter Bread
eggs and turmeric mixed together for Ukrainian Babka/Paska or Ukrainian Easter Bread

Add it to the cooled milk mixture.

combining ingredients for Ukrainian Babka/Paska or Ukrainian Easter Bread
combining ingredients for Ukrainian Babka/Paska or Ukrainian Easter Bread

Then add the yeast.

adding yeast into the bowl for dough for Ukrainian Babka/Paska or Ukrainian Easter Bread
adding yeast into the bowl for dough for Ukrainian Babka/Paska or Ukrainian Easter Bread

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.

mixing in raisins into the Babka
mixing in raisins into the Babka

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

Babka dough rising
Babka dough rising

Cover it of course.

Babka dough rising
Babka dough rising

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!

Babka dough risen over the top of the bowl
Babka dough risen over the top of the bowl

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.

Babka dough in coffee tins and loaf pan
Babka dough in coffee tins and loaf pan

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.

Babka dough rising in coffee tins and loaf pan
Babka dough rising in coffee tins and loaf pan

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!

Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka Recipe Video

Happy Baking you guys! I am so happy to share this recipe with you, it's our family tradition and I'm thrilled that you can bake it as well!

Love,

Karlynn

Pin This To Your EASTER BAKING Board!

Step by step photos AND a new video showing you how to make this Ukrainian Babka recipe! This is my Baba's treasured Ukrainian Easter Bread recipe! #easter #babka #paska #baking #easterbread #ukrainian #polish #bread #traditional #recipe

4.91 from 40 votes
Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 20 mins
 
Traditional Ukrainian Babka, or Easter Bread! I take you step by step through making this traditional bread and even made a video to help you out!
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: bread
Servings: 10
Calories: 741 kcal
Author: Karlynn Johnston
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of cold water ( I add ice)
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp of traditional yeast
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (or saffron)
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 8-9 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of raisins
  • 7 small coffee tins
  • One beaten egg to brush the tops with
Instructions
  1. Place the butter, milk and 3/4 cup of white 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 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of white sugar, mix in your yeast thoroughly and let it start bubbling away.
  4. Beat your egg yolks and turmeric (or saffron if you want traditional). 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)

  5. Add the egg mixture to the warm milk mixture. You need to let the saffon dissolve in the warm mixture before you move on, if you use saffron!

  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 almost at the top of 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!

Recipe Notes

Glaze the tops with my Buttery Icing Glaze if desired!

Nutrition Facts
Easter Bread, or Ukrainian Babka
Amount Per Serving (10 g)
Calories 741 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 35%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 184mg 61%
Sodium 672mg 28%
Potassium 463mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 118g 39%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 18g
Protein 16g 32%
Vitamin A 16.8%
Vitamin C 1.9%
Calcium 10.4%
Iron 32.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

16
Author

Hey guys, I'm Karlynn! Welcome to The Kitchen Magpie, my website full of family friendly recipes, cocktails & homesteading tales of chickens & cows from the family farm! Make sure to check out my bestselling cookbook, Flapper Pie & a Blue Prairie Sky ,stay tuned for info on my second cookbook!

150 Comments

  1. I like vex baba bread. Thank you so much for your post the bread looks delicious. I use parchment paper in my tins. The bread goes straight up instead of ballooning over the tin & I have never had a problem with the bread sticking in the ridges. Also I cut out a circle for the bottom.

  2. This is an amazing paska recipe! Every Easter I would look forward to my baba’s paska. Now, at 101 years old, my baba has passed this yearly task on to me. While my baba’s recipe is great, I find her method a little too labour intensive and have tried several other recipes, none of which compare to my baba’s. I have to say that this recipe, while not only easy and straightforward, produces paska that is as good as (if not better) than my baba’s. When I shared a loaf with my baba, she was very impressed with the flavour and texture….you know a recipe is good when it is “baba approved!” Thank you, for sharing this recipe!!

  3. Sherry Scott Reply

    I followed your very detailed recipe, step by step, and made paska bread for the very first time. It turned out great and I think it will be a new family tradition. Thank you for the recipe and great details!

  4. Alvin Knoll Reply

    Hello and Happy Easter, just read your recipe and must comment, we are from Saskatchewan, Canada and there are lots of Germans out here, We also make this easter bread and call it PASKA. A little different take is that we soak our raisins in rum overnight and this gives it a little extra flavour. Other wise looks the same as we make, can’t beat the Easter Bread.

  5. Elmer Gawryletz Reply

    I cut your recipe in half because of not having enough cans and turned out super good, will be baking more and I also line my cans with parchment paper, the loaves slide right out nicely, not sure if the parchment would affect the baking or not. Very good recipe, thank you !!

  6. Moved from Chicago to Philadelphia in 1994. Havent had proper (my mom’s) babka since then. Unfortunately she passed away in 2014, and did not leave recipe, but seeing that you baked the babka in a coffee can like she did, that’s one plus for you. Another is correct pronunciation of kielbasa (koo ba sa, take note people!!). Third plus, i have Ukrainian friends from Winnipeg, so i know i can trust you when you speak of Canadian Ukrainians on the prairie. Looking forward to trying your recipe!

    • Well, I was born in Winnipeg, so I have some β€˜Peg Street cred lol. Both sides of my family hail from Dauphin, Manitoba. This is absolutely a traditional Babka recipe and I hope it’s really close to your Mom’s!
      I
      Kooooonasa for the win!
      Happy Easter!

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  8. Vicky Brooks Reply

    My son’s girlfriend is Ukrainian and I would like to try and make this for her. I’ve made bread before in the past and didn’t do well. Is this recipe hard for a beginner like me and can I cut this recipe in half.
    Thanks
    Vicky

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  10. Katerina @ diethood .com Reply

    I have made something similar to this and it tastes amaaazing!!

  11. Jacque Hastert Reply

    Thanks for sharing this recipes. I will have to attempt to make it for Easter!

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  13. Mary P Hoffman Reply

    A woman in my building bakes babka as a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – at Easter and Christmas. They’re great!

  14. Cathy Wehage Reply

    OH this is my favourite bread, my mom still makes it. Mmmmm

  15. Jodi Flatt Reply

    OMG, toasted with warm peanut butter. ….it’s my Easter breakfast treat….

  16. Jodi-Marie Lockyer Reply

    One of the very few traditional recipes I make every year for Easter! I use saffron instead of turmeric and no raisins.

  17. Carol Turton Reply

    I really am going to try to make this Babka, hope it turns out just like yours Karlyn.

  18. Saylor McLennan Reply

    You know, the sad thing is, those metal cans are really difficult to come across now… Unfortunate because they’re useful for so many things; including cooking.

  19. Andrea Daniar Reply

    So interesting to see other family traditions! Our family does an Easter bread as well, called Paska (from Slovakia), it’s a much sweeter egg bread, made with cream and more sugar, but no raisins.

  20. Grace Fika Reply

    We add juice and grated rind if 1 orange, candied fruit and vanilla. To die for…gone in a day. Awesome toasted with butter and honey.

  21. Charlene McGuirk Reply

    Have to tell you your kale and artichoke dip is the bomb

  22. Quadelle Rose Reply

    Any chance of getting the recipe?? \U0001f609My baba used to make them years ago, but she has passed away and we don’t have her recipe πŸ™

    • The Kitchen Magpie Reply

      Haha I would have used coffee tins, but they are very hard to get now! You have to find ones with no weird inner lip on the edge…I like the tall coffee tin bread the best!

  23. Larissa Marie Sawiak Reply

    I see you’ve used your Baba casseroles too! I spent Good Friday doing the same thing πŸ™‚

    • The Kitchen Magpie Reply

      I have no coffee tins, I prefer the tall loaves, but my old Pyrex did a great job!

  24. My Grandmother used to make this. Although and she and Grandpa were Bulgarian, they lived for some time in the Ukraine. Today I made Bulgarian Easter bread which is quite different.  Lots of fun to have many different ones to eat for Easter!

  25. Catherine Schuster Reply

    We always cooled the bread on pillows and turned the loaves every so often to keep the density even as it cools.

  26. Would this also be considered for a Hanukkah bread?  I see you had a post removed about Babka Monkey bread.  I bought a mini loaf tin and was thinking about making mini loaves.  Did you adjust the time at all for your mini loaves?  Thanks!

  27. Bonnie Luchka Chipiuk Reply

    I also use saffron and also add mixed fruit. Babka is my favorite.

  28. Judy Burton Reply

    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

  29. TiffanyJerry Reply

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

  30. TiffanyJerry Reply

    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 Reply

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

  31. TiffanyJerry Reply

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

  32. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    We have as well, when I’m not too lazy to find saffron πŸ˜‰

  33. Doreen Szor Reply

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

  34. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  35. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  36. Donna Woychuk Reply

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

  37. Adiner IsRealer Reply

    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!

  38. Donna Woychuk Reply

    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 πŸ™‚

  39. Tama'ra J Lawrence-Olenczuk Reply

    And should be able to express it. If mine is to dislike the bread. So be it.

  40. Tama'ra J Lawrence-Olenczuk Reply

    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.

  41. Theodore Lichacz Reply

    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.

  42. Jennifer Print Reply

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

  43. Anna Sauro Reply

    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,.

  44. Manon Dubois-Kulay Reply

    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!

  45. Mariana Paul Casey Reply

    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…

  46. Julie Scriver Reply

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

  47. Jodi Richardson Kennedy Reply

    Love! My grandmother used to put orange rind in hers as well\U0001f60c

  48. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  49. Laurie McKendry Reply

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

  50. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  51. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  52. Laurie McKendry Reply

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

  53. Jennifer Print Reply

    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 πŸ˜›

  54. I’m not a fan of it, but I wouldn’t say it looks gross, lol

  55. Tama'ra J Lawrence-Olenczuk Reply

    Never seen it nor made it nor tried it. But i vould try making it

  56. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  57. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    Whoa lol you win for weirdest comment from a Ukrainian!

  58. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

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

  59. wyliekinson Reply

    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!

  60. 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 πŸ™‚

  61. Thanks for the recipe! I inherited a recipe (labeled “Easter bread” or “paska”) from my husband’s family. 

  62. 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 Reply

      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!

  63. Perfect! I have been making babka my whole life with my mom, show passed away last year and this was my first solo attempt. I had the cans ( also used a pampered chef crock, comes out nice). The recipe was easy to follow . The only problem I always have is how much to put in the can! I found a half a can is a bit too much! I’ll post by breads on fb. Thank you so much and XB, God Bless and happy Easter!

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @Annie  Glad it worked out! Yes, it can be tricky figuring out how much dough, it can rise like crazy! Maybe a “scant” half would be more like it…a third might be too little… Happy Easter to you as well! Have a fabulous weekend! 

  64. My grandmother was straight from Ukraine and this recipe is for paska, which is Ukrainian Easter bread.  Paska is a sweet, rich yellow bread reserved for Easter, typically with yellow raisins, though it can be made without the raisins if you prefer.  Babka is much sweeter, more of a desert and may have more variety of ingredients, and usually a sweet topping like a frosting.  Paska is the bread you have described and it is reserved only for Easter, while babka is more a desert, and is certainly served at Easter, but unless I am mistaken, is not reserved specifically for Easter, because I remember the Ukrainian bakery in the Ukrainian neighborhood where my grandparents and aunts lived and where my mom grew up made babka year round, but not paska.  Paska is what you would refer to as Ukrainian Easter bread, not babka, though babka is awesome, too.  Paska would traditionally put in Easter baskets and taken to church to be blessed, though a lot of the Ukrainians also took a small babka to church in their baskets in addition to their paska.  My Ukrainian grandma made and taught my mom and aunts to make paska, and I too have eaten paska year after year, have watched my grandmother, aunts and mom make it over and over through the years, and have helped to make it countless times, but have never attempted it myself.  I remember what was done, but I wish I had their exact recipe!  So this year I have made a commitment to DO IT!  I’m comparing paska recipes now.  This one and some others I have found seem to capture the ingredients and techniques I remember.  I am going to experiment with a couple recipes.   I attended only Ukrainian church until I was in 8th grade when we moved across the country, and I remember my grandma and the other Ukrainian ladies would usually make  a couple big, beautiful paskas that they would decorate very ornately with braids and designs, usually in a large metal bowls, but they would also make some smaller ones as you described here in various cans and smaller bowls.  These would usually be ones they gave to other people, put in children’s Easter baskets, and used once the big pretty paska was devoured on Easter.   

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      MarianneG  I hope you have a great time trying all the recipes out! It’s so worth it! 

  65. I used your recipe and made half the batch and it turned out great.  Thank you for posting.  I am Armenian and we use Paska for Easter and although it is very popular in my culture – I may be the only person who doesn’t like it :)) I was so happy that Babka is nothing like our Paska.  This is more like bread, our version is sort of a dry cake. We also decorate ours and put decorated eggs around it.  Here is a picture of a little one I made for a friend.

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @Janette  Oh my goodness that is adorable! I love seeing pictures like this, it makes my day <3 Thank you for posting it and Happy Easter!!

  66. Penny Harder Reply

    Thank you for posting this delicious recipe! A few of us got together yesterday and baked 45 mini loaves to hand out downtown Edmonton, it went over very well and I plan to bake more tomorrow with cinnamon in them!

  67. CONNIE GARCIA Reply

    Love Babka, my sister married into a Ukrainian family , my sisters mother in law, made this at Easter , WONDERFUL. THINK I WILL TRY YOURS

     

  68. Elaine Aschenmeier Reply

    My Mom used to make Hobo Bread like this. My nephew just loved it!

  69. The word itself, Old English bread, is common in various forms to many Germanic languages, such as Frisian brea, Dutch brood, German Brot, Swedish bröd, and Norwegian and Danish brød; it has been claimed to be derived from the root of brew.

  70. I am from a Ukrainian Orthodox family and I am confused too. We always called the tall bread we put in the Easter basket paska. We put a candle in it too. Maybe it’s a regional thing too.
    Lydia

    • Pascha… as in the Eastern Orthodox word for Easter.  As far as I know, most people who hate babka bread around Easter time, so Babka and Pascha bread are the same thing.  I think the reason for the tall cans on a traditional easter basket is to preserve the real estate in the basket itself.

  71. I’ve been looking for a good recipe for the “tall bread” my son (recently adopted from Ukraine) remembers having on Easter. Your recipe sounds perfect! I am going to make this. Step 1: scrounge up the coffee cans! Ours comes in a bag. Might have to get creative…

  72. SUZANNE, TAMPA FL Reply

    I have made BABKA many many times. growing up in a Jewish home, My mother made it in coffee tins from the depression era. They did not have many things back then and always used what was in the house. Now that my mom and dad are gone, my husband wanted me to make it for Chanukah this year. So I will try your recipe as I am unable to read all of the ingredients form my mom’s handwriting. Thanks.

  73. Hi Karlynn,

    Just wanted to let you know that I did end up trying this, and the baba was DELICIOUS! Very similar to what my Babka used to make : ) After comparing a few other versions, I decided to add the grated rind and juice of one orange, which gave a very subtle, fresh citrusy flavour to the bread. I really appreciated your detailed instructions & photos- as an inexperienced bread baker, I was comparing my stuff every step of the way and it was reassuring to know I was doing it right (or it looked right, anyway).

    The one sad thing was that my coffee tins had little edges on them, so the tops kinda ripped off a bit, but they still baked well and tasted yummy! I made 4 in tins and 2 in loaf pans, and I ended up with one presentable one for the Easter basket at least : )

    Thanks again for posting this!

    Jane

    • Oooh wonderful! I am so glad the photos helped, this is one of the few bread recipes I am confident tackling myself because it’s just ingrained in my memory by now. Oh, those darn edges, I forgot some time have those.

      I am really glad it turned out and I think the citrus addition would be so tasty!

  74. No breadcrumbs and no flour, I grease the tins with a lot of margarine. It’s just pure dough that rises in them, I have never had them stick. Someone above mentions parchment paper liners, that would work as well.

    You can use an egg white wash to make the tops shiny, but I never bother. They are eaten far too fast for anyone to care. If I am giving them away, then yes, egg wash brushed on the top.

  75. I only just noticed – your picture shows shiny sides to the cans above the dough before you let it rise. Do you not use breadcrumbs on the top? How does it work to only have them on the bottom? (And if I used flour instead of crumbs, am I going to regret it?)

  76. I somehow only fill two coffee cans with this, but that’s because I’m using the big ones. (I also had a loaf pan, and a regular can, so I could probably get a third can’s worth if I didn’t want a mini one too). I don’t bother keeping the tins – I only make babka every other year, and I figure that I’ll acquire two cans during that time.

    Thank you for posting your recipe. My dad didn’t leave enough detail in the one he posted online, and I’m trying to make it without all his original sources.

  77. I have no idea where it came from, I know a lot of my grandmother’s techniques came from growing up in the depression, coffee tins would have been cheap (free) and available in large amounts to make all the bread in.

    Bread traditionally has been baked round, but I am not sure if the really tall round form of Babka symbolizes anything. Anyone else know?

  78. Tall round juice just like your pictures – that’s how we make Easter bread. I am trying to find out what is the significance of the tall round tins. There must be a story . Does anybody have any ideas?

  79. Truly, I love people who think I am right πŸ˜‰ Welcome Jane!

    Coffee tins= dishsoap and water and THE SECRET is to dry them in the oven so they don’t rust! Crank the oven on to 300 with the wet tins in them then turn off the heat and leave to dry. I am able to reuse mine yearly this way.

    Saffron shouldn’t affect the taste, I assume tumeric was used for economical reasons. You use SO little for color in comparison to the large amounts of other ingredients that I can’t see a taste difference.

    And oh, altitude can affect so much….BUT I have great news, I used to live in Airdrie AB where the altitude is 3533ft (I googled it LOL but I knew it was high altitude) and this recipe worked perfectly for my mother and myself.

    Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

  80. Hi there,

    I have always eaten this bread at Easter but never actually made it. Now that time has come… I was wondering what is the best way to clean the coffee tins? Just rinse them out? They kind of smell like coffee, I’m just hoping it won’t affect the bread. Also, is there a taste difference using tumeric vs. saffron? I’m pretty sure my Babka (Ukie for grandma- I know, it’s the same as the bread, I’ve never figured that part out) used to use saffron which helped with the yellow colour. Finally, I live at 3500 ft. above sea level, is this going to mess with the baking temps?

    Sorry for so many questions- but thanks! And btw, this is NOT paska. Paska is completely different, as the rest of the posters say- it’s a circular braided white bread that I always compare to Kolach (the Ukrainian Xmas bread) except Paska is richer. And soooo delish!

    Thanks!
    Jane

    • I was told that the reason it was named Babka is because when it is baked, the top of the bread is a bit wrinkly looking like a Babka (grandmother)

  81. This is the same recipe that I use. I use parchment paper in the inside of the coffee tins, so it is relatively easy to get out. Also, I use 1 of the egg whites to brush over the dough before putting into the oven just for a bit of a shine.

    The Paska is usually decorated with tiny birds and braids. Also it is a white bread, not the beautiful sweet yellow bread that the babka is. %)

    • Aha! Someone else who agrees with me! I really need to get baking this, only a couple weeks till Easter!

    • I think the difference is that Paska is not traditionally a sweet bread and is not baked in tins, but it still is a round shape and traditionally Paska should be taken to the church and blessed, not with Babka. Babka is a sweet bread through and through. To be honest, after searching the web I am no closer to finding the answer, so I’ll just stick with my many generations of Ukrainian women who made this exact bread and called it Babka πŸ˜‰

      Another difference I noticed is that Paska is made with whole eggs, yet Babka with only egg yolks, which definitely results in a different bread.

      • Have to agree with Andrew, it is Paska. My family for generations have been making them and they use only egg yolks and a lot of sugar in it… So it is sweet… and the only way to bake it is in old, passed through generations (not necessarily) tins. Every family has different variations and kinds of this bread. And not everyone takes it to church. Babka or Baba is more a pie-like thing that can be made out of anything – potatoes, eggs, meat, cheese…

  82. “You can also use 3 eggs instead, but the yolks make a richer bread.”

    You make it sound like richer bread would be a bad thing! However, are you saying to add three eggs or just three egg yolks? I would presume that the whole egg would make the babka a bit more fluffier/airier and not dense like regular bread?

    • Whoops no, you can use 6 yolks OR 3 whole eggs in the recipe, one or the other. I think the yolks make the bread much better, you lose the richness and the point of Babka is a sweet, rich bread. I think my grandmother for economy’s sake used margarine instead of butter and 3 eggs instead of 6 egg yolks, but I use butter and 6 yolks. I have used 3 eggs and not really noticed a difference so it could be just in my head πŸ˜‰

  83. I used a regular size loaf pan, I have seen it baked in almost anything.You just have to fill whatever you use only a scant halfway. I assume you can halve this, the measurements are easy enough but I haven’t tried it. Let me know how it works!

  84. So glad I found this! Lets say I didn’t have 7 coffee tins laying around… You mention a loaf pan work ok, are you using a small one or regular sized one? And have you ever halfed this recipe? Thanks, and Happy Easter!

  85. john mac pherson Reply

    Hi I have tried coffee cans but with the ridges in the can I can’t get them out
    Any hints.

    John

    • Grease the heck out of them, including the bottom. Then when you take them out, right fresh out of the oven,tilt the top into your hand, then while holding on to the mushroomy part, slightly shake/twist it out. I have actually never had them stick. They do have to be removed ASAP.

      Good luck! I actually LOVE using the tins more than any other way of making them.

      • Almost forgot the salt as it is not mentioned in your step by step directions. I am using large tomato juice cans so am a bit scared. Unfortunately they have ridges so I think it wise to use parchment paper. Wish me luck.

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