1 package active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1/2 c. softened butter
1/2 c. sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. lemon or orange extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. milk, warmed to 100 F
4 c flour
1/4 c blanched chopped almonds
3/4 c golden raisins
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside.
- Heat the milk over low heat until it reaches 100 - 110 degrees. DO NOT BOIL the milk! (I take its temperature with my finger - if you can hold your pinky in there for about 3 seconds, the milk is about the right temperature.)
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
- Beat in the egg yolks and salt.
- Add the zest, vanilla, and citrus flavorings.
- Add the yeast/water and milk.
- Gradually add the flour until you form a soft dough (it will be slightly sticky.)
- Stir in the almonds and raisins and turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
- Knead the dough briefly, using just enough extra flour to make it smooth and elastic.
- Transfer it to a greased bowl and let rise (about 2 hours).
- When it has doubled, punch it down and form the dough into a ring. Put it into a greased babka or bundt pan and let it rise again until doubled.
- Bake in a 350 F oven for about 40 minutes or until done (when a wooden toothpick comes out clean.)
- Let the Babka cool in the pan until you can handle it, then turn the bread out onto a rack and let sit until completely cooled. When it is ready, dust with powdered sugar and serve.