At long last, here is my babka recipe. I did not make it as sweet or sticky as other babkas – I like a milder sweetness – so it ends up having a more “rustic” feel. Enjoy!
1 cup warm milk (45C/110F)
1 package quick-acting yeast
5 tbsp melted salted butter
¼ cup sugar
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Oil for greasing the bowl and pan
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 tsp melted salted butter
2 tbsp milk
- Add the yeast to the milk. The yeast should bubble up within a few minutes. (Otherwise, your milk was too hot and/or your yeast was dead.)
- Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Then, add the eggs one at a time and mix briskly until combined.
- Add the milk-yeast mixture, and mix briskly until combined.
- Add the flour, ½ cup at a time. When the mixture is still batter, you can mix it in with a spoon. Afterwards, you will need to use your hands to knead it.
- Knead the dough with floured hands until you have a smooth, springy dough that does not stick to your hands too much. This should take about 6-7 minutes. I do this by taking out the dough and kneading it on a clean, flour- or starch-covered surface.
- Oil a big bowl and put your dough in it. Cover and leave in a warm spot to rise until double in size – 30 minutes to two hours. (In my kitchen, it is usually about one hour.)
- Meanwhile, mix the filling ingredients together.
- Preheat your oven to 175C/350F. Grease a large Bundt pan or a large loaf pan.
- Clean and flour a large surface and a rolling pin.
- Punch your dough down. Place it on the surface and then roll the dough out to a large rectangle of about 1cm/2.5 inches thickness. It does not have to be perfectly rectangular.
- Spread the filling out over the dough, leaving a ½ centimeter/1 inch border on the edge of the dough.
- Roll the dough along the long edge of your rectangle. Then, if you are baking in a loaf pan, create a circle and twist it into a figure 8. If you are baking in a Bundt pan, just make the circle. Move the twisted dough into the pan.
- Prick the unbaked babka with a skewer with little holes – this will let out steam.
- Mix the egg wash ingredients and brush onto the babka.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the babka sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool before serving.
Thank you to my classmates and housemates for participating in User Acceptance Testing.