We’re not Ukrainian but we have many friends and family members who are.
I first tasted Babka (Ukrainian Easter Bread) many years ago, at the home of Ukrainian friends.
Babka is a sweet, light textured yeast bread that’s baked in a can (either a metal coffee can or a metal juice can).
In my feature photo, the Babka is “resting on her pillow”. Once out of the oven, the loaves go onto a pillow made of towels to allow the steam to be absorbed.
The dough is leavened because the rising symbolizes Christ rising from the dead. The dough is rich because it’s made with egg yolks. The eggs symbolize rebirth and turn the dough a golden celebratory colour. For an extra golden hue, either a pinch of turmeric or saffron is added.
Our Ukrainian Catholic friends take their Babka to be blessed by the priest on Easter Saturday. The English translation of the blessing is : “O Lord, Jesus Christ, bread of angels, true bread of everlasting life, bless this bread as thou didst the five loaves in the wilderness; that all who eat of it may have health of body and soul.”
I’ve made Babka only three times. I felt it was appropriate this year, as we think about the Ukraine and pray for peace there.