This delicious recipe for Easter babka comes from the "Martha Stewart Living" television show.
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for bowl
- 2 envelopes (2 tablespoons) dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 4 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Zest of 2 oranges
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur
- 9 cups sifted unbleached flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 cup slivered almonds, chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar mixed with 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon water, for glaze
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, scald milk. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool to lukewarm.
In a small bowl, stir yeast into warm water; let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, yolks, and sugar until thick. Add salt, zests, vanilla, and liqueur. Stir to combine. Stir in milk mixture, then yeast.
Add flour, a cupful at a time, until dough is moist but not sticky, mixing with a wooden spoon or your hands. Stir in almonds and raisins.
Knead dough on a floured board, adding more flour if dough is too sticky, until dough comes away from your hands, about 6 minutes. Place dough in a very large buttered bowl.
Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rise again until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9- or 10-inch kugelhopf or angel-food cake pans. Sprinkle pans with a tablespoon of confectioners' sugar, if desired. Divide dough into 3 portions; arrange in pans and cover loosely. Let dough rise to tops of pans, about 30 minutes.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until cakes are golden brown and tops make a hollow sound when tapped with knuckles. Cool for 5 minutes in pans; turn out onto racks and cool for 20 minutes more.
Spoon glaze onto babka, allowing it to drip over sides.