Ukrainian Easter Babka



  • 2 Tbsp. active  yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup warm water

Combine the three ingredients and let sit until the yeast expands, approx. 10 minutes.

  • 2 cups scalded milk.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 9-9 1/2 cups flour.
  • 1/4 tsp. mace
  • 10 egg yolks.
  • 1/2 melted butter, melted
  • 5 egg whites (stiffly beaten)
  • 1 Tbsp. orange rind, grated
  • 1 cup sugar.
  • 1 cup raisins

Add 1 cup of warm milk  and 1 cup of flour to the dissolved yeast. Whisk until smooth. Let rise for approx. one hour,  in a warm place. I have a bread proof setting on my oven and I set it at 100C/ 212F.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until a lemon-yellow colour; add the salt, mace and the orange rind.  To this, add half of the melted butter, another cup of milk and 3 cups of flour. Add the beaten egg whites and the yeast mixture.

To knead the dough, I use my KitchenAid mix master. I now add the rest of the flour to make a soft dough. Using the dough hook, knead on the #2 setting for about 30 minutes. Add in the rest of the melted butter and the raisins.  Pour out into a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover and let rise until double, approx. 60 minutes. Then punch down and let rise one more time.

Prepare 2 round tin coffee cans, about the 1.36kg/3lb. size, by spraying with Pam or greasing with olive oil and then sprinkling with fine bread crumbs.

After the second rise, punch the dough down and divide into two portions.  Shape the dough into two round balls and place into the tins.  Only fill to 2/3 of the tin’s space. Once again, cover and let rise in a warm oven until the dough reaches the top of the cans. Brush tops with a beaten egg.

Bake in a preheated oven at 177C/350F.  for 15 minutes;reduce the temperature to 148C/300F.  and bake a further 60 minutes. When baked, carefully remove from the cans and allow to cool on racks. I run a sharp knife around the edge if I am not sure it will easily come out. Be careful to avoid denting the tops.

Please note:  Here’s a word of caution…there are many photos on line that are not Ukrainian Babkas.


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