POLISH YEAST BABKA WITH RAISINS


POLISH YEAST BABKA WITH RAISINS

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup / 175 ml warm milk
1.5 oz / 40 g fresh yeast or 0.7 oz / 20 g / 3.5 tsp of active dry yeast
3/4 cup / 150 g of granulated sugar
11 tbs / 150 g of butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup / 100 g of raisins
1 tbs of corn starch
1/4 cup / 2 fl oz / 60 ml of water or favorite high volume alkohol (rum, whiskey, brandy, etc)
4 cups / 500 g of all purpose flour
1 egg + 4 egg yolks
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Zest of half a lemon
Pinch of salt
Additional butter to grease pan
Frosting:
1 cup of powdered sugar
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
5-6 tsp of hot water

INSTRUCTIONS

Place yeast, warm milk and sugar and 1/2 cup of flour in a mixing bowl and mix until dissolved. Cover and set aside for 15 min in a warm spot in the kitchen.
Place raisins in a small bowl and add water (or alkohol). Melt butter and set aside to cool.
Right before step 4, place raisins on a strainer and add corn starch. Shake it around to cover raisins and get rid of excess corn starch.
After 15 minutes of yeast/sugar/milk/flour mixture raising, add raisins, remaining flour, butter, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt and mix to form dough. Transfer onto a clean, floured surface and knead for 15 minutes. I'm using my KitchenAid with the hook attachment, and letting it do the work*. Add another tablespoon of flour, if dough is too wet.
Grease bundt pan with butter, place dough in pan, distribute evenly. Cover with a towel and set aside for at least 2 hours in a warm spot. The dough has to (at least) double in size. May take 2-4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350℉ / 180℃. Place babka in the middle rack and bake for 40-45 min. When done, let rest for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. PLEASE NOTE: this cake tends to burn quickly. To prevent it, place a piece of aluminium foil (loosely) on top of cake after 10 (or so) minutes of baking, and keep covered.
To make icing, place powdered sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add a few drops of lemon juice and keep adding 1 tsp of hot water at a time. Mix until combined, it should create a paste. Adjust the amount of water and sugar for the desired thickness of the icing. Pour over cake once cake has cooled off.