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Catholic Recipe: Easter Baba (Polish Easter Coffee Cake)

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 yeast cakes
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 15 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup chopped citron, orange and lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • bread crumbs
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: • • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin: Poland

Also Called: Baba Wielkanocna, Babka

The most popular of the coffee cakes in Poland and other countries, too, is called baba, a provincialism for woman. The cake is always baked in a fluted pan. It resembles the skirt of a woman. Babka, a word commonly used for grandmother, is the same cake but in a smaller size. Babecska is the diminution of the word. Small rolls or cupcakes are called babeczki. Here is a good recipe for Easter baba.

DIRECTIONS

Scald the milk. Slowly add three-quarters cup flour to hot milk and beat thoroughly. Cool. Dissolve yeast in quarter cup of milk and a tablespoon of sugar and add to cooled mixture. Beat well. Let rise until double in bulk. Add salt to eggs and beat until thick and lemon-colored. Add sugar and continue to beat. Add to sponge with flavoring and remaining flour. Knead for ten minutes. Add butter and continue kneading for ten more minutes or until dough leaves the fingers. Add almonds and citron peels and mix well. Let rise until double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again. Punch down and put into fluted tube pan. Butter the pan, press blanched almonds around the sides and bottom. Sprinkle with fine bread crumbs. Fill with dough to cover one-third of the pan and let rise one hour. Bake 50 minutes at 350°. Sprinkle with colored sugar or baker's confetti.

Recipe Source: Easter Book, The by Francis X. Weiser, S.J., Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1954
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