Braided Babka

Traditional Polish Babkas, served often at Easter, have some variation of fruit garnish, dried or candied.

INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 1 LOAF

  • ½ cup dried currants
  • ½ cup candied citrus zest
  • ½ cup candied ginger
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2–3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Combine currants, citrus zest, ginger, and orange juice, and set aside to plump 1 hour or overnight.

  2. In a large bowl combine milk, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

  3. Stir in remaining sugar, eggs, butter, and salt. Drain the plumped fruits, reserving the liquid, and add the fruits to the mixture. Add enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2½ hours.

  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface, divide into 3 portions, and form a 3-strand braid. Place onto prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  5. Brush the top of the risen loaf with cream and bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30–40 minutes. Cool on a rack.

  6. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of reserved juice from the plumping. Drizzle over loaf before serving.

Jewish Babka

The Jewish version of Braided Babka found in the United States is usually without fruit, and is twisted rather than braided. Try this great alternative the next time you make this recipe!

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