Saturday, April 23, 2011


One of the Ukrainian traditions I strongly hold to is having Babka for Easter.

Sadly, I do not live near an Orthodox Church of any variety (there are 2 small ones in Tyler, but w/ my car the way it is, I'm not leaving town except for work)...and so I have nowhere to go to have it blessed on Easter Morning.

Which is weird that I even want to do that, since we only did that a few times when I was a kid, my parents choosing a Lutheran Church for us to worship in as a family (Dad-Eastern Catholic + Mom-Orthodox = LCMS Lutheran.  ????)   But for some reason, I was thinking it would be nice to make Babka myself and get it blessed.  I am such a nerdling.

So skipping the blessing, I'm making the Babka, This is the first time I have actually made it myself, as Mom usually sends me some every year.  As I was making it, I realized all the years I "helped" Mom make it, all I ever did was fight Ross about who got to "punch" it down after each rising (there are 3 risings). Called Mom and we laughed about that.  :)  Had to describe how I was kneading the dough to her to make sure I was doing it right, cuz it's not like kneading have to grab a blob and pull, over and over for 10+ min or it won't bake right.  so here I am on the phone describing how the dough is pulling off the sides of the bowl and stretching, and Mom's saying "yeah, yeah, yeah" the way she does, and I am wishing Dad would just get off his butt about changing their DIAL-UP internet to anything that is faster so I could just send Mom a quick picture or stream her a video to make sure I'm doing this right!!!!!  Oh Dad and his refusal to pay for anything that can be gotten for free, even if the free sucks, it's free...right?  (help me, this is in my genes too)
There is a recipe in here for sheep brains.....

So here is my Babka recipe adapted from the "Traditional Ukrainian Cookery" by Savella Stechishin
It has multiple steps that have to be done separately b4 you can mix it all together.  very process driven.

Step 1:
1 C. soy milk
1/3 cup "flour"
Boil/scald the soy milk and mix into the flour slowly w/ a wisk. 
   I don't own a wisk as Bub decided it would be fun to dismantle it, I used a fork

beat thoroughly until smooth and free of lumps
     not having a wisk, my batter was lumpy, the book suggests putting it thru a sieve if was necessary.  I felt like I was making spaetzle!!!!
Babka "spaetzle"

Cool to lukewarm

While I was boiling the soymilk I started step 2:
1/2 c. lukewarm water
2 tsp sugar
3 packages dry granular yeast  (I have a huge amount of jarred yeast, so I used 3 Tablespoons) 
Dissolve sugar into lukewarm water (MUST BE LUKEWARM!!) add yeast cover w/ tea towel and let rest until bubbly

While boiling and waiting I started step 3:
10-12 egg yolks (I used 11)
2 whole eggs

Separate the eggs, save the whites for a different recipe
I put my whites into a ice cube tray and froze them for other stuff

*Side story time...*
As I began to separate the eggs, I remembered the post I read yesterday from Rue Rice about making Cascarones with her kids...what the heck!  we're going to be coloring eggs tomorrow, lets do that too since I'm going to have 12+ empty egg shells...  So I spent a lot of time carefully tapping small holes on the tops of the eggs so I could save the shells.  I am TRULY a super-nerd.
*Side story time over*

by now the yeast should be bubbly, so back to step 2:
Mix soymilk/flour mixture w/ yeast mixture.  fold well. let it rise again until tall and bubbly in a warm quiet place
I use my microwave so I don't have to worry about any munchkins sticking their hands into it.  ;)

Bubbly yeast-flour-soymilk brew
Back to step 3:
1 tsp Salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup melted Parve Margarine "butter"
2 tsp vanilla
grated rind of 1 lemon
I forgot to buy a lemon, so I used orange zest instead

Beat the yolks and eggs with the salt.  Slowly add the sugar, vanilla and zest.  Melt the "butter" and let it cool before adding

while I was waiting for the "butter" to cool, I started step 4:
Sift 5-6 cups "flour"

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