Polish Babka

Polish babka is traditionally a round yeasted cake and, thus, destined to end up in the shape of NordicWare’s brilliant Anniversary Bundt Pan. Golden raisins, candied oranges, and dried cranberries are folded into the dough for a fruity sweetness, and a Sparkling Wine Syrup and glaze impart a taste of celebration. You can find more recipes baked in the Anniversary Bundt Pan in our September/October 2020 issue!

Polish Babka
 
Makes 8 to 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 3¾ cups (469 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3½ teaspoons (10.5 grams) instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 5 large eggs (250 grams), room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) firmly packed orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • ⅓ cup (56 grams) lightly packed chopped golden raisins
  • ⅓ cup (55 grams) lightly packed ¼-inch-chopped candied oranges
  • ⅓ cup (52 grams) lightly packed chopped dried sweetened cranberries
  • Sparkling Wine Syrup (recipe follows)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Sparkling Wine Glaze (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup (125 grams) flour, sugar, yeast, and salt at low speed just until combined.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and butter; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture; beat at medium-low speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, orange zest, vanilla bean paste, and remaining 2¾ cups (344 grams) flour; beat at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to high, and beat for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. (Mixture consistency will be a cross between a thick cake batter and a very wet dough.) Fold in raisins, candied oranges, and cranberries just until combined. Cover with a sheet of greased plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 15-cup Nordic Ware Anniversary Bundt Pan with baking spray with flour.
  4. Stir down batter, releasing as many air bubbles as possible; spoon batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on counter several times to evenly spread batter and release any air bubbles. Cover with a sheet of greased plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. (Pan will look quite full but will not overflow while baking.)
  5. Bake until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted near center registers 190°F (88°C), 25 to 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking and loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using a small offset spatula or a butter knife, loosen babka from center of pan; invert onto a wire rack.
  6. Pour half of Sparkling Wine Syrup into pan, and carefully return babka to pan. Pour remaining Sparkling Wine Syrup over babka; let stand for 5 minutes. Invert babka onto a lightly greased wire rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet; let cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve with Sparkling Wine Glaze.

Sparkling Wine Syrup
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1⅔ cups (378 grams) dry sparkling white wine, divided
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and ⅔ cup (152 grams) wine; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture just comes to a boil and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; transfer sugar mixture to a small bowl. Stir in remaining 1 cup (226 grams) wine.

Sparkling Wine Glaze
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups (300 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) dry sparkling white wine
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth and well combined. Use immediately.

 

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