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Polish Babka

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Fruitcake and Christmas. Yep, it is definitely an association. So here is just yet another version of a fruitcake that in reality is usually served at Easter time in Poland. “Babka” is a polish word for grandmother, just in case you didn’t know (we didn’t :-) ) I have fond memories of fruit cake at Christmas time. My mom (Rebekkah’s Grandma) used to make batches and batches of little fruit cakes and then would wrap them up, put a ribbon on them and then give them to family and friends. Personally I am not a fruit cake lover but I know there are many of you out there who are so….. This is a rich no knead bread laced with rum syrup, filled with mixed candied fruit and golden raisins, and then finally drizzled with icing. It is fantastic with a hot cup of coffee or tea on a cold Christmas morning. Enjoy!!

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Polish Babka

 

Ingredients:

Babka –

 

1/2 cup lukewarm milk

1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

heaping 1/2 teaspoon alt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) softened butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1/2 cup currants or golden raisins

3/4 cup candied mixed fruit

 

Rum Syrup –

 

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

1 to 2 tablespoons rum (or substitute apple juice for the rum and water if you don’t want to use booze)

 

Icing –

 

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons milk; or a combination of milk and rum or apple juice

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Directions:

 

Place everything except the fruit in a mixing bowl, and beat at medium speed until nicely mixed. Increase your mixer’s speed to high, and beat for 2 minutes.

Add the fruit, beating gently just to combine.

Cover the bowl, and let the dough/thick batter rest/rise for 60 minutes; it won’t look like it is doing much, it’s ok.

Scoop the batter into a greased 10-cup Bundt pan. Cover the pan, and let the dough rest/rise for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven now to 350 degrees F.

Bake the Babka for 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads at least 190 degrees F. Don’t panic if you don’t have the thermometer! Test it with a toothpick or cake tester and see if it comes out clean. If it is a yes then it is a go. Take it out, you’re good to go.

While the Babka is baking, make the rum syrup. Combine all of the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat. Bring it to a boil, and boil, swirling the liquid until the sugar is dissolves. Take it off the heat.

Remove the babka from the oven. Poke it all over with a toothpick or your cake tester and slowly pour the syrup over the babka’s surface.

When the syrup is fully absorbed, and this will take like 20 minutes or so, carefully loosen the babka’s edges, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack.

Now it’s time for the icing: Mix all ingredients together, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over completely cool babka.

** If you don’t have a Bundt pan you can bake the bread in a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan. Works just as well.

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