Beat at medium speed until cohesive. Increase your mixer’s speed to high, and beat for 2 minutes. The dough will be very soft; more thick batter than dough.
Add 1/4 cup currants or raisins (golden raisins preferred); and 1/4 cup mixed candied fruit or peel, or mixed chopped dried fruit. Beat gently just to combine.
Cover the bowl, and let the dough/thick batter rest/rise for 60 minutes; it won’t appear to do too much, as you can see in the pictures above.
Scoop the batter into a greased 9- or 10-cup Bundt pan. Don’t have a Bundt pan? Spoon the dough into an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, instead.
Cover the pan, and let the dough rest/rise for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F. Again, very little (if any) discernible rise; still, the yeast is working, even if you can’t see the result.
Bake the babka for 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads at least 190°F.
While the babka is baking, prepare rum syrup.
Place the following in a small saucepan:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 to 2 tablespoons rum
Substitute apple juice for the water and rum, if you like.
Set the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil, swirling the liquid in the pan, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.
When the babka is fully baked, remove it from the oven. Poke it all over gently with a toothpick or fork, and slowly pour the syrup over the babka’s surface.
When the syrup is fully absorbed (about 20 minutes or so), carefully loosen the babka’s edges, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack.
It may stick a bit in places; but don’t worry, once you slice it no one will notice.
If you like, gild the lily (and hide any rough spots, if they bother you), with icing. Mix together 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, a pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons milk; or a combination of milk and rum or apple juice. Drizzle over the completely cool babka.
Slice and serve – as part of your Easter “break fast,” or any time you’re looking for a sweet, tender, cake-like yeast bread.