Vegan Easter Babka

This light, sweet Polish bread is similar to brioche, and is traditionally eaten on Easter morning.

Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 40 minutes
Additional time: 2 hours +Serves: 15
Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 160g/5½ oz/a cup of raisins
  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
  • 140g/5oz/10 tablespoons of margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g/5oz/¾ cup of caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 240ml/2½ dl/½ pt/a cup of warm milk
  • A teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A tablespoon of cornflour
  • 500g/18oz/4 full cups of plain flour
  • 125g/4½ oz/a cup of icing’ sugar

Special Equipment

  • Two large mixing bowls
  • Three small bowls
  • A sieve
  • A pastry brush
  • A bundt or babka tin
  • Cling film
  • A serving plate

Method

  1. Put the raisins in a small bowl with the lemon juice. Top it up with a little water, so the raisins are covered with liquid. Set aside for an hour or two.
  2. Add the yeast to a seperate large mixing bowl and add ⅓ cup of warm water. Set aside for about 15 minutes, or until the yeast mixture begins to bubble a little.
  3. Add the flaxseed to a seperate small bowl and add 9 tablespoons of water. Mix together thoroughly and set aside for a few minutes.
  4. Use a pastry brush to grease the babka or bundt tin with some margarine.
  5. Add the sugar, margarine, salt, vanilla and milk to a seperate large mixing bowl and beat together thoroughly, then stir in the flaxseed and yeast mixtures.
  6. Sieve the flour and cornflour into the sugar mixture and beat everything together until very well combined, then add the raisin mixture and stir it in thoroughly.
  7. Pour the batter into the bundt or babka tin and cover with greased cling film.
  8. Leave the tin in a warm place for about an hour, or until the babka mixture has doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  9. Remove the cling film and place the tin in the oven. Bake the babka for about 40-45 minutes or until it’s golden brown and cooked all the way through.
  10. Allow the babka to cool before inverting it onto a serving plate.
  11. Make the icing by sieving the icing sugar into a small bowl and adding a small amount of water. Stir together until smooth. Then gently spoon over the babka.
  12. Smacznego!

Tips

  • Keep an eye on the babka while it’s rising- it’s ready when it’s risen to the height of the tin, but might overflow if left too long!
  • To make the icing nice and thick, mix in the water slowly and gradually, so it doesn’t end up too thin and watery.

Background

Home: Poland
Pronunciation: /ˈbap.ka/ (baab-kuh)
Relatives: Panettone (Italy), Stollen (Germany)

History

Babka are cylindrical breads made at Easter in Poland, Ukraine and Belarus. The Polish version is very eggy, and is traditionally made before Easter Saturday and placed in a Święcone basket, along with painted eggs and meats. The basket is taken to church to be blessed by a priest, and its contents are eaten for breakfast the next day on Easter Sunday. This feast represents the end of Lent, when people are able to stop fasting and eat richer foods again!

Święcone baskets being blessed
Błażej Benisz, Święcone2007, 2007 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%C5%9Awi%C4%99cone2007.jpg [accessed 28th March 2021] (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en)

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