Here is Martha's babka recipe:
- 2 cups milk, scalded
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2/3 of a 2-ounce yeast cake
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Grated rind of 2 oranges
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 8 to 9 cups sifted unbleached flour
- 1 cup slivered almonds, chopped
- 1 cup muscat raisins
- 1 cup golden raisins
- Heat the milk; stir in the butter until melted; cool to lukewarm. Proof the yeast in the warm water.
- Beat the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until thick. Add the salt, grated rinds, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Add the milk-butter mixture to the egg mixture. Stir in the yeast.
- Add the flour, a cupful at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon. The dough should not be dry, but it should not be sticky. Too much flour will make a dry, crumbly cake. Add the almonds and raisins.
- Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead for about 5 minutes, until dough comes away from your hand. Butter a very large bowl and put dough in bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down and let rise a second time until almost doubled.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the pans generously. (You can sprinkle pans with a tablespoon of sugar if you wish.) Divide the dough into 3 portions. Arrange evenly on the pans and cover loosely. Let rise to top of pans.
- Bake cakes in oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until golden brown. There should be a hollow sound when you tap the top with your knuckles. Cool for 5 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto racks to cool.