Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Babka

I am ready – ready for arrival of a little on in 3 weeks or less – the countdown has begun.  Nursery done, all the basic needs for a newborn are stored away, freezer packed – and just packed my bags this past weekend.  You would think I can just sit back and relax now – yeah right – I am in full force nesting – cleaning, doing laundry etc. etc. you name it, and I am still working too – hopefully not too much longer.

Here is one of my all time favorite recipes that I have been wanting to share with you for a while just never gotten to it – the Babka.

This is one of my true favorite sweet breads to make,.  There are no many versions of this and I usually make these for gifts for the Christmas holidays.  The Babka is the European cousin of coffee cake, the rich yeast bread derives its name from bacia, a Slavic term of endearment for grandma, which the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food points out may have been because the fluted tube pans in which babkas were originally baked gave the cakes the appearance of an old woman’s pleated skirt.

Today’s babkas come in all different shares, colors and flavors – sometimes round, sometimes loaf-shaped;  some have a streusel topping, others are frosted. I enjoy both the cinnamon and fruit-based but if you are like Seinfeld’s Elaine, the chocolate babka is king.

A few years back I was looking for a recipes and could not find one recipe that I liked so I combined a few of them on the internet and did some trial and errors and this is what I ended up with.  It is a little time-consuming but the bread is delicious.  I usually make it in bread format or bunt cake format.

I do this recipe with chocolate and without – it is really a personal preference they are both delicious.

Babka

Adapted from: LA Times

Yields: 2 loaves | Prep Time: 110 minutes | Bake Time: 60 minutes

Dough
1 ½ cup butter, softened
3 cup all-purpose flour
3 ½ cup bread flour
2 packets active dry yeast  (4 tsp)
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup warm water
½ cup milk
1 cup sour cream
2 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extracts
¼ tsp drops lemon extract
¼ tsp drops orange extract
¼ tsp almond extract

Filling
¼ cup butter, softened and cut into bits
1 to 1 ½ cup brown sugar
2 to 3 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ cup walnuts , coarsely chopped
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 egg

Dough:
Rub butter into flour until crumbly using dough hook of electric mixer, and set aside.

Combine yeast and warm water (lukewarm) and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then add sugar, salt, milk, sour cream, eggs, yolk, lemon juice, vanilla, citrus extracts, and almond extract. And mix all together.

Then stir in the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix to form a soft dough. Knead 5-6 minutes, then place in a greased glass bowl and cover. Let it rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Note: depending on your yeast it can take longer, it has taken me up to 90 minutes to double in size.

Punch down dough. Divide into 2 portions. Roll each portion out onto a floured work surface into 14×10 inch rectangles.

Assembly:
Sprinkle each rectangle equally with soft butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped nuts, and raisins. (Add chocolate chips here if you want). Roll long end up into a jelly roll.

Carefully place each into well-greased bread pan.

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Turn oven to 350F.

Mix the egg and brush dough egg and sprinkle with some brown sugar.

Place cake pans on a large baking sheet (this protects bottom) and bake at 350 degrees until done, about 1 hour.  Or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 20 minutes before you remove from pan. 

This is what my counter looks like when I am making those holiday gifts -

One Year Ago: Roquamole

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20 Responses to “Babka”

  1. 1

    Three-Cookies — January 25, 2012 @ 1:03 am

    Hahaha, I first heard of babka on Seinfield:) I made a very basic version once, I like your version

  2. 2

    My German Kitchen...in the Rockies — January 25, 2012 @ 5:41 am

    You can purchase a similar version of this sweet bread in German bakeries. Love it. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. 3

    chinmayie @ love food eat — January 25, 2012 @ 5:46 am

    WOW! I can’t believe you actually baked all those in the last picture! Babka looks so delicious :)

  4. 4

    Paula — January 25, 2012 @ 6:25 am

    That looks delicious.

  5. 5

    carolinaheartstrings — January 25, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    Wow does this look fantastic! Beautiful pictures. Come visit. We linked up a terrific turkey chili to share with you.

  6. 6

    Anna @ the shady pine — January 25, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    It sounds like you are all ready for little one’s arrival….how exciting! I’ve never had babka but I can see why it would be so popular. I’d love all the goodies inside it as you bite into a slice!

  7. 7

    Sarah @ Homestyle Cooking Around The World — January 25, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    When I saw the title Babka on my Reader, I had to see what it was since it sounded familiar. It looks so wonderful and I love how you made it. I have marked this to make soon!

    • Sarah @ Homestyle Cooking Around The World replied: — January 25th, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

      Oh, and I also wanted to congratulate you on the pending new arrival- I just had our third 6 weeks ago and can relate to how you are feeling. Hope everything goes well and don’t be afraid to just rest when you can after the baby is born.

  8. 8

    Deanna — January 25, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    I’ve never had a babka, a situation that must be rectified immediately. Don’t forget to make treats to bribe the nurses with!

    • Delishhh replied: — January 25th, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

      Deanna – really, bribe the nurses? I never heard of that – does that work? Did you do that?

      • Deanna replied: — January 25th, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

        I’ve never had a major surgery, so I haven’t done it, but my uncle is in the hospital right now after a double knee replacement, and my cousin told me the cookies I brought have kept the nurses happy. I would imagine that the nurses are more inclined to give you extra diapers and such if you bribe them with sweets. It can’t hurt right?

  9. 9

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — January 25, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

    Wow, I’m impressed! I’ve always been scared to try making babka it seemed like it would be quite a daunting process.

  10. 10

    Eliana — January 30, 2012 @ 6:28 am

    This sweet bread has delicious written all over it! Can’t wait to recreate it in my own kitchen.

  11. 11

    Magic of Spice — January 31, 2012 @ 6:49 am

    Your babka looks fantastic! Your gift recipients must have been so delighted :)

  12. 12

    Feast on the Cheap — January 31, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

    So good. I think i’d eat the whole loaf all by myself… Dangerous.

  13. 13

    Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} — February 2, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    You read my mind. I planned on making babka this coming week. I come from European country so this bread was always around in our house.
    Love your variation.
    Hope everything goes well with your delivery! Enjoy your last days of pregnancy while it lasts

  14. 14

    Nami | Just One Cookbook — February 3, 2012 @ 12:29 am

    Hmmm I love all the ingredients in the filling. It’s my first time hearing Babka but this bread looks familiar and it looks so good! I see, now you have 2 weeks left! Very close!!! I can’t wait to hear the news. :-)

  15. 15

    Cristina, from BA to Paris — February 5, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    This is one of my favorite treats!
    I didn ‘t know you were expecting a baby! All the blessings for you!
    Cristina

  16. 16

    100 Bread Recipes — Roxana's Home Baking — October 28, 2012 @ 8:41 am

    [...] Babka – Delishhh [...]

  17. 17

    Babka: Delishhh | The Secret Recipe Club — January 5, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

    [...] Check out the recipe for Babka. [...]

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