Yield: 1 babka
|1 pack||Active dry yeast|
|¼ cup||Warm water|
|½ cup||Unsalted butter, melted|
|2 teaspoons||Vanilla extract|
|½ teaspoon||Almond extract|
|¾ cup||Warm milk|
|4 cups||Unbleached all-purpose flour or thereabouts|
|2 tablespoons||Unsalted butter, for brushing dough|
|3 tablespoons||Vanilla powdered sugar or powdered sugar|
|1½ cup||Dry cottage cheese or ricotta|
|1½ tablespoon||Sour cream or creme fraiche|
|1||Lemon, zest only|
|½ teaspoon||Vanilla extract|
|3 tablespoons||Currants, plunged in|
|2 tablespoons||Rum or Cognac for 1/2 hour|
1. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over warm water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 mintes.
2. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, almond, milk, eggs, and 1 cup flour. Beat until smooth with a whisk. Add yeast mixture. Beat 3 minutes or until smooth. Add flour, ½ cup at a time with a wooden spoon until a soft dough has formed.
3. Turn dough out onto a lighly floured surface and knead until smooth and silky, about 5 minutes. Be sure dough remains soft. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to grease top, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until until doubled, about 1½ hours.
Meanwhile combine filling ingredients in a bowl, beat until creamy.
4. Gently deflate dough, turn out onto a lightly floured board and roll or pat into a 10 x 12 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter.
Spread with filling, leaving a ½ inch border all around the dough.
Roll up jelly roll fashion and pinch seams. Holding one end, twist dough about 6 to 8 times to make a rope. Form into a flat coil and place in a well-greased 10 to 12 cup Kugelhupf mold or tube pan.
Pinch ends together and adjust dough to lie evenly in the pan, no more than ⅔ full. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise till even with the top of the pan, about 45 minutes.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. There will be a hollow sound when tapped. Let stand for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer from baking pan to a rack to cool completely. Let stand 4 hours or overnight, wrapped in plastic before slicing.
6. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle powdered sugar glaze.