150 grams fresh yeast (3 small squares)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
2 tablespoons flour
Mix yeast cakes, sugar, and flour in lukewarm milk; stir until dissolved. Cover bowl and let stand in warm place to work until bubbly, about 1 ½ half hours.
15 egg yolks
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
8 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 ¼ cups butter, softened
1 cup golden raisins, lightly floured
Beat the egg yolks until thick; add confectioners' sugar, mixing in until thoroughly blended. Add yeast mixture to yolk mixture; mix well. Stir in flour, salt, vanilla, and grated lemon rind; knead together until the mixture is smooth. Add the softened butter, kneading it in a little at a time. Continue kneading the dough until it no longer sticks to your hands. Knead in raisins, Cover with plastic wrap and a bath towel and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in height. Punch dough down to release air. Grease hands with butter and shape dough to fit greased round baking containers (four 1-lb coffee cans work well) approximately 1/3 full. Let rise until doubled in height. Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 8 minutes; turn oven down to 300F and continue baking for 45 minutes. Yields 4 cakes.
* If desired, use only ½ cup raisins and add 2 ounces blanched chopped almonds and 2 ounces finely diced candied orange peel; mix these in near the end of kneading.