1 cup milk
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
15 large room-temperature egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup candied citrus rind (optional)
1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)
1/3 cup light or dark raisins
How to Make It
Scald milk and pour into a large bowl or stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Add 3/4 cup of the flour, mixing well. Cool.
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and let stand 5 minutes. Add to cooled milk mixture, combining well. Cover and let rise until doubled.
In a separate large bowl, combine salt and egg yolks and beat until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Add remaining sugar and extracts, mixing well. Combine egg mixture with risen yeast-milk mixture, beating thoroughly.
Add remaining flour and, using a wooden spoon, beat vigorously for 10 minutes or 7 minutes by machine with the paddle attachment. Add butter and continue to beat an additional 7 to 10 minutes.
Beat in candied rind, almonds, and raisins. Dough will be sticky. Resist the temptation to add more flour. See the note below.
Scrape down sides, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in the same bowl. Punch down dough and let rise again until doubled.
Generously coat a 12-inch fluted babka pan or tube pan, or Turk’s head mold (turban mold) with cooking spray. Punch down dough and, using slightly dampened hands, transfer to prepared pan. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until dough fills the pan. Heat oven to 350 F.
Bake about 50 minutes or until instant-read thermometer registers 190 F or toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan 10 minutes and invert onto rack to cool completely. Leave plain or dust with confectioners’ sugar, or drizzle with a flat icing if desired although that is not traditional.