Rum Baba

1 kg / 2 lb 3 oz flour
2 cups milk
7 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
300 g / 11 oz butter or margarine
3/4 tsp salt
200 g / 7 oz dried currants
1 tsp vanilla
50 g / 2 oz yeast

For syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup water
4-6 tbsp grape wine, liqueur or 1 tsp rum essence

Dilute yeast in one cup of warm milk, add 3 cups of flour and knead thick dough. Roll it into a ball, on one side make 5-6 shallow cuts and place dough in a pan with warm water (2 – 2 1/2 quarts), cover with lid and put in warm place.
After 40-50 minutes, when dough rises and its volume increases by twofold, remove it, put in a bowl for kneading. Add a cup of warm milk, salt, egg yolks whipped with sugar and vanilla, whipped egg whites, mix everything, then add the rest of the flour and knead dough. After that add whipped butter (or margarine) and knead dough again (it shouldn’t be too thick), cover and put in warm place. When volume of the dough becomes twice the original, add dried currants, mix and pour dough into molds (fill the mold 1/3 of way up), that have been prepared the same way as molds for kulich, cover and put in warm place to rise. When dough rises to 3/4 of the height of the mold, then carefully, without shaking, put it in an oven that’s not too hot for 45-60 minutes.
During baking turn the form very carefully, since even a little push may result the dough to cave and the middle to empty. When rum baba is ready (use same method of determination as for kulich), remove it from the mold and put on a plate on its side. When it cools, pour it over with syrup with wine, carefully turning it on the plate so that syrup soaks in on all sides of rum baba. Put it upright on the plate, let it dry a little, then put on another plate, cover with paper napkin and serve.