Polish Babka


1 yeast cake, or 1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup (1 stick) soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 cups flour
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1 cup white raisins
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped almonds


Add yeast to lukewarm water and let stand until softened or dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, add salt to egg yolks and beat until thick; then add to sugar and butter mixture. Add yeast and water, lemon rind, and cinnamon. Add flour alternately with milk and beat well to make a smooth batter. Add raisins and knead by hand until batter leaves the fingers. Let rise in a warm place until double (about 1-¼ hours). Punch down and let rise again until double.

Generously butter a fluted tube pan. Sprinkle with fine bread crumbs and fill with dough. Brush with mixture of egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water. Sprinkle with almonds and let rise again. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 30 minutes.


8 to 10 servings

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This is almost identical to

This is almost identical to my Polish grandmother's recipe! Try it with bread flour for a softer texture (my twist on the original recipe).