Basic Sweet Babka
Want an alternative to a cake, or a pie, or a bread? A sweet Babka can be a great choice of food for parties. The following recipe will yield 3 loaves.
For the dough
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast
- ⅓ cup + ½ tsp sugar
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- 4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup milk
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter (or margarine), melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 - 1 ½ cups chocolate filling, cinnamon sugar, or other filling of your choice
For the sugar syrup
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Mix yeast, ½ tsp sugar, and lukewarm water in a small bowl, mix, and let it foam up for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Mix flour, ⅓ cup sugar, and 2 tsp vanilla.
- Scald milk, allow to sit for 1 minute to cool slightly.
- Add water-yeast mixture, milk, and melted butter to flour mix.
- Add eggs one at a time.
- When the dough comes together, mix for another 2-3 minutes and scrape down the sides.
- Mix on high for another 5-10 minutes.
- Place dough in a greased bowl wit ha damp towel on top and let it rise for 1-2h.
- Make the sugar syrup while the dough is rising.
- Combine water, sugar, and vanilla in a small sauce pan.
- Bring to a low boil until thesugar has dissolved.
- Set aside and cool.
- Prepare three 8½-by-4½-inch greased loaf pans. Alternatively, prepare 2 large round babkas to be baked on a aking sheet.
- Cut dough into 3 equal parts. Roll out one part into a rectangle, and spread a third of the filling onto the rectangle. Roll up along the shorter side.
- Cut dough straight down the middle so the filling is exposed.
- Layer each cut piece on top of one another and twist.
- Place in a greased loaf pan.
- Lightly drape a kitchen towel on the top of the pans, and let them raise for another 30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC / 350ºF.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Brush each babka with two layers of sugar syrup.
- Place back in the oven for approximately 15 minutes.
- Add another 3 layers of syrup immediately when they come out of the oven.
- Allow to cool down for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan and place on top of a wire rack to cool.