Laden with dried fruits and nuts, these babkas—from a recipe brought to us by Martha's mother—make perfect hostess gifts, for cooks willing to share.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Butter three kugelhopf molds (each 1 1/2 quarts and 8 inches in diameter); set aside. Butter a large bowl; set aside. Heat milk and butter in a saucepan over medium-low, stirring, until butter is melted.

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  • Sprinkle yeast and a pinch of sugar over the warm water in a small bowl. Let stand until foamy, 7 to 10 minutes.

  • Whisk together 4 eggs, the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until thick, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, liqueur, zests, yeast mixture, and milk mixture; whisk 1 minute more. With a wooden spoon, gradually stir in up to 10 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, until a sticky dough forms. Stir in dried fruits and almonds.

  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead, dusting with flour if it seems sticky, until smooth and soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to buttered bowl. Loosely cover with buttered plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Punch down dough. Loosely cover with buttered wrap; let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.

  • Punch down dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 1 minute. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece into an 18-inch-long rope. Fit each rope into a buttered mold; press end of rope into dough to seal. Loosely cover with buttered wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together remaining egg and the cream in a small bowl. Brush dough with egg wash. Bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in molds on a wire rack, about 10 minutes. Unmold onto rack, and let cool completely, larger sides down.

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