Scald the milk and let cool. Dissolve the 1 tbsp. Sugar in lukewarm water and sprinkle yeast over it. Let stand 10 minutes. Add yeast mixture to the cooled (lukewarm) milk. Beat in 3 cups flour until smooth and let rise in a warm place until bubbly, approx. 1 hour.
Beat egg yolks until light, then add sugar gradually while beating. Add salt, melted butter and orange rind. Beat egg whites until frothy. Combine egg yolk mixture and egg whites with the sponge and mix well. Stir in enough flour to make a very soft dough and knead continually for 15 minutes. When raisins are used, they should be added after dough is kneaded. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk. Punch down and let rise as before.
Grease tall round pans generously and coat lightly with dry bread crumbs. (Coffee or Crisco tins make good containers for Babka.) Form dough into a ball, small enough to fill 1/3 of a container. Let rise in a warm place until dough barely reaches the top.
Brush the loaves gently with a beaten egg, diluted with 2 tbsp. Water. Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees F. and bake for 30 minutes. Then again lower temperature to 275 degrees F. and continue baking 10 minutes. The baking period depends on size of loaves. If Babka is turning dark, cover with aluminum foil.
Remove baked loaves from the oven and let them stand in the pans for 5-10 minutes. Take each loaf out very carefully. Cool completly. Babka is always sliced in rounds, across the loaf. Yield: five or six loaves.
From the MasterCook recipe list. Downloaded from Glen's Mm Recipe Archive,