Instead, I am pretending it is spring. Last week, I made the springtime caramelized leek soup again. Still delicious and addictive.Then I transitioned into my month of sweets with a babka, or holiday bread. Babka is traditionally made for Easter by Polish (and other Eastern European) families like mine.
I have seen many versions of this sweet bread, but I enlisted my aunt in helping me find one. Luckily, she had a recipe from a church recipe book that she was able to pass on.
A few things struck me off the bat. First, the babka had raisins, lemon and brandy (or cognac). Second, it had a lot of eggs — six!
I knew I didn’t want raisins. I don’t hate raisins; I just don’t want them in my bread. Instead, I thought it might be nice to incorporate a bittersweet chocolate.
Remember my previous bread failures?
Well, this one wasn’t a complete failure, but it was damn close — at least, in terms of flavor.
My first reaction was that the babka was too eggy. So much so, I couldn’t eat more than a few bites. But I am extremely weird about eggs.
Second, by removing the raisins, I removed the complementary flavor to the lemon and brandy. The chocolate wasn’t bad, but it would make more sense with orange.
But hey, at least I finally got a yeast bread to rise and form properly. That in itself is a small success. And maybe this recipe would appeal to someone else. Just not me. When I have some time, I hope to try it again but with fewer eggs. I’ll let you know how it goes.