Source: FamilyTime Favorites

Helen's Babka
This Polish Easter bread is great any time of the year.
Serves: makes 4 small or 2 large loaves
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes


2 packages yeast
1/4 cup water, lukewarm
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, all 4 yolks but whites from only 2 eggs
5 cups flour
raisins, or candied fruit (optional)

Dissolve yeast in water and add 1 tsp. sugar to help it activate. Set aside for about 10 minutes until it bubbles and foams.

Heat the milk over medium-high heat so that it bubbles around the edges. Add the butter and remaining sugar and stir until the butter melts and the sugar dissovles. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. Pour the milk into a large bowl.

Add 2 cups of flour to the milk to make a thick batter. Add the yeast mixture and the eggs and stir until well mixed.

Add 2 more cups of flour to the bowl to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a well floured surface and begin kneading the dough with lightly floured hands. Work in the remaining cup of flour, kneading the dough for 10 to 12 minutes until smooth and satiny. Add the raisins or fruit, if desired, and keep kneading until well distributed.

Gather the dough into a mass and transfer to a clean, buttered bowl. Rotate the dough to coat it on all sides with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside to rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.

Punch down with your fist. Shape into buttered baking dishes and set aside to rise until doubled 1/2-3/4 hour.

Brush with beaten egg white. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.