Easter Babka Bread

| 3/25/2015 11:00:00 AM

Tags: Easter bread, Renee Pottle, Washington,

Babka Bread 

I have been making hot cross buns for Easter for nearly 30 years. This year, I thought it might be time for some variety. In my search for traditional Easter breads I came across Babka.  “Sounds great,” I thought. “Let’s find the true recipe.” Easier said than done.

What Is Babka?

Babka is traditionally made in Poland, Russia, and other Eastern European countries. Apparently babka is a popular Christian Easter bread, but is also made in the Jewish tradition. Perhaps these two traditions for one bread are why I found so many recipes, all claiming to be the true traditional recipe.

I found recipes that add rum or vodka or almond extract or vanilla extract. Recipes that included a chocolate filling or no filling at all. Recipes that had icing and recipes that had no icing. Recipes to be made in a Bundt pan, or a coffee can, or a Brioche pan. Recipes that included raisins or dried cherries or neither. Recipes flavored with allspice or cinnamon or citrus, and recipes that eschewed all spices. Recipes that called for the bread to be soaked in a sugar solution before baking and recipes that called for a sugar soak after baking and recipes that called for no soaking at all.

So what is babka? It is that most traditional of celebration breads. A sweet bread that traditional cooks have adapted to whatever is still in the pantry come spring. Once I realized this, it allowed me to do the same. While I might experiment with other variations in the future, I adapted several recipes to ingredients on hand and developed this soft, tangy, sweet bread.

Babka Recipe


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