Braided Babka

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Traditional Polish Babkas, served often at Easter, have some variation of fruit garnish, dried or candied.

Difficulty: Medium

Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 4 hours 25 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dried currants
  • ½ cup candied citrus zest
  • ½ cup candied ginger
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¾ tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cream
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Directions

  • Combine currants, citrus zest, ginger, and orange juice, and set aside to plump 1 hour.
  • In a large bowl combine milk, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining sugar, eggs, butter, and salt. Drain the plumped fruits, reserving the liquid, and add the fruits to the mixture. Add enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2½ hours.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface, divide into 3 portions, and form a 3-strand braid. Place onto prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Brush the top of the risen loaf with cream and bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30–40 minutes. Cool on a rack.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of reserved juice from the plumping. Drizzle over loaf before serving.