My husband is Polish and grew up eating babka at Eastertime. His family did not make theirs so I didn't have a recipe. After trying several recipes, I decided to try to create one for my breadmaker. I find that the texture of dough is a lot smoother in the machine. This recipe came after much trial and error. My husband says that this is the best babka he has ever eaten.
1To the pan of the breadmaker, add the first 8 ingredients IN ORDER GIVEN. Make a little well in the flour and pour in the yeast as the last ingredient. Set the breadmaker to DOUGH CYCLE. Listen for the beep on the dough cycle to add in your raisins or currents. Check your breadmaker manual.
2Grease a souffle dish with high sides. I use a 2 1/2 quart sized round souffle pan. Sprinkle the bottom of the greased pan with breadcrumbs.
The dough should be finished in about 1 1/2 hours.
3Form the finished dough into a ball and place into prepared pan. Cover with a damp towel and place into a warm place to rise. This takes about an hour to an hour and 1/2.
4When the dough is doubled in size, brush the entire top with 1 egg yolk beaten with 1
TBSP of water. Place into preheated 350 degree oven in the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes until nicely browned and the babka makes a hollow sound when thumped. Watch the babka during the last 15 minutes of baking for overbrowning. You can cover the top with foil if it seems to be browning too quickly.
5Cool in pan on a wire rack for one hour. Gently loosen the edges of bread with a knife or spatula. Turn the bread out onto the rack and let cool completely. Store at room temp or refrigerator tightly wrapped.