Updated: May 24, 2021
I'm actually not that much of a fan of sweet treats, but the Babka concept has simply left me calm for months.
This incredibly fluffy yeast dough, filled with sweet chocolate (or cinnamon) cream not only looks great, it also tastes great. After a few experiments, here is my recipe for this Jewish delicacy. <3
Duration: approx. 5 hours (including all resting times)
Makes: 1 loaf
215g warm (soy) milk, but other plant based alternatives such as oat should also work
500g wheat flour
Pinch of vanilla
90g warm butter alternative
100g butter alternative
125g powdered sugar
1 Loaf pan, mine is roughly 30x15cm
First of all, of course, the yeast is dissolved in warm, not hot, "milk" and mixed with the sugar so that the yeast has a little food to metabolize. I just put the "milk" in the microwave for a short time, if you heat it on the stove, make sure that it is not too hot, otherwise it could kill the yeast. Then the flour, salt and a little vanilla are added and kneaded into a dough. If you don't have vanilla, just take a little less sugar and add vanilla sugar.
Then you gradually knead the "butter" into the dough until it is really well integrated and the dough is nice and smooth. When you feel like you've kneaded long enough, you can cut out a small piece of dough and pull it apart with your fingers. This should create a small gluten "window" that can be pulled so thin that you can almost look through it. If the dough cracks immediately, you have to knead a little longer.
Then it is allowed to rest for 1.5 hours in a greased bowl and covered in a warm place.
Towards the end of the rest period you can prepare the filling by melting the chocolate and the "butter" in a saucepan over low heat. Let them cool down a bit (the filling shouldn't be applied too hot to the yeast dough anyway) and then stir in the powdered sugar. If you don't feel like chocolate, you can also make a cinnamon or fruit filling, there are actually no limits to your wishes. The filling just shouldn't bring too much moisture into the dough.
The dough should now have risen nicely. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about the width of your loaf pan.
The dough is then spread with your filling and then rolled up as tightly as possible.
The next step is theoretically optional, but I can really recommend it to you. Put your rolling pin in the refrigerator for an hour. This means that the "butter" in the dough and the filling becomes really firm again. This makes it much easier to work with in the next step.
When your rolling pin is ready, cut it lengthways and press the ends of one side together. Then you fold the dough halves over and over again, as often and as tightly as possible until you get a "braided" loaf. Then press the ends of the other side firmly together at the end.
Line your loaf pan with baking paper, this will make it easier to remove the babka from it later. The dough is then allowed to rise in the baking pan for another 1.5 hours, covered, in a warm place.
Towards the end of the resting time you can preheat the oven to 150°C.
Then you bake the babka for 50 minutes.
Towards the end of the baking time, you cook another syrup.
To do this, you simply mix the water with the sugar and boil everything once.
When the babka comes out of the oven, you brush it directly with the syrup.
When it is evenly brushed on, you should let the babka cool down completely. Then you can enjoy it.
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