Marzipan & Poppy Seed Babka
Updated: May 24, 2021
After the nerve-racking last few days, I needed a little more sweet food for the nerves. Then I noticed that I haven't baked a babka for a while and that I actually wanted to experiment a little with the fillings for this Jewish delicacy. The result is this deliciously fluffy babka with a marzipan poppy seed filling.
Duration: approx. 5 hours (including all rest periods)
Makes: 1 loaf
1 Loaf pan, mine is roughly 30x15cm
215g warm (soy) milk, but other plantbased alternatives such as oat should also work 65g sugar
500g wheat flour
Pinch of vanilla
90g warm butter alternative
50g butter alternative
250g ready-made poppy seed mixture for baking or
150g ground poppy seeds, 75g sugar, a pinch of vanilla and 100g plant-based milk
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, "butter" 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 knead until 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 simply mixing the marzipan mixture with the butter alternative and the pre-purchased poppy seed mixture. If you can't get a ready-made poppy seed mixture, you can also mix ground poppy seeds with some plant-based milk, sugar and a pinch of vanilla.
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 can then rise again in the baking pan for 1.5 hours, covered, in a warm place.
Towards the end of the walking time you can preheat the oven to 150°C.
Then you bake the babka for 50 minutes. After about 40 minutes I glazed some (soy) milk on the babka and sprinkled a few flaked almonds on it, but this step is optional.
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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