classic babka

Classic Babka

Classic Babka

What can I say? I am in a nostalgic mood this week. I have been working on my Easter menu and all sorts of favorite foods are on my mind. Babka is one of them.

Babka is a different bread from most others that I make.  For starters, the recipe makes 6 loaves of bread at once. Great for gift giving in those quantities.

Babka also uses much less flour than most of my bread recipes. Only 8 cups of flour for the 6 loaves. I can use close to 8 cups of flour for 2 loaves of other breads.

The babka dough is really a batter- so sticky you have to oil up your hands to divide the dough into the bread pans.  This very tiny amount of dough rises to fill  9×5-inch bread pans. The result is a bread that is very light with a crunchy exterior and tender interior.

I can’t remember where I got this recipe. I still have the original handwritten recipe, but it isn’t handwriting I recognize. Maybe one day I will figure it out.

In the meantime, I will continue to make babka- and to share it with friends and family.


3 packets active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
1 c. sugar
8 c. bread flour
1 t. salt
5 large eggs
1 stick butter
2 T. oil
Grated rinds of  an orange and a lemon
2 c. warm milk
1 c. raisins
1 egg mixed with 2-t. milk

In bowl combine yeast, water, sugar, 1 c. flour, and salt. Allow to stand 10 minutes. Beat in eggs, butter, oil and grated rinds. Add remaining flour alternately with milk, beating a total of five minutes. Stir in raisins. Dust a large bowl with flour and put in dough. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Generously grease loaf pans. This recipe will fill 6 standard loaf pans – 9×5 – inch. Lightly oil hands and divide dough into portions, smoothing tops as you place dough in pans. Cover and allow dough to rise until more than doubled, about 1 hour. Brush loaves with egg and milk mixture. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until bread is well browned and sounds hollow inside when tapped. Mine is normally done at about an hour and 15 minutes. Cool a few minutes in pans before removing to racks to cool. Babka in great eaten warm from the oven.

Babka dough rising
Fresh from the oven

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