I love me some Martha. And I was in heaven when I got Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.
When I ran across the Chocolate Babka recipe in Martha’s book I knew I had to try it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate but not as much as I used to.
I had never had babka before I came across Martha’s recipe but I was curious. However, because I am picky about my chocolate, I wanted to make a cinnamon babka instead. So to the interwebs I went looking for a cinnamon babka recipe. I couldn’t find one that I really liked, so I took Martha’s recipe and adapted it. This is what I came up with and I can honestly say that I do not know how I lived before cinnamon babka came into my life. I must admit I still have yet to try the chocolate babka. Why mess with a good thing?
Here is my ingredient list for my cinnamon babka using Martha’s dough(minus some of the butter):
makes 3 loaves
1 1/2 cups milk
1 pinch sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
3/4 cup sugar
2 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
6 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup butter, room temp
2 cups butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg for egg wash – can substitute melted butter
Start by warming the milk to 110 degrees, stir in a pinch of sugar and the yeast. Set aside to allow yeast to bloom.
Meanwhile, measure flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs with the 3/4 cup of sugar.
Once your yeast has bloomed,
Stir together, making sure to get down to the flour at bottom of the bowl. Mix on a low/medium low speed with dough hook. Add in the butter in medium chunks.
Let the dough knead(mix) for about 10 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
Cover your little bundle of joy and let rest for an hour to an hour and a half until the dough has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, stir together the ingredients for the filling. Just stir them together and set aside for later. Also prepare your loaf pans.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch the dough down gently, then divide into three equal pieces.
Roll each piece of dough to a 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness, approximately 16 inches square.
Spread each of the rolled out dough pieces with a equal helping of the filling. Just slather it on there, making sure to leave about a clean 1 inch border on one side of each square.
Roll the dough into a log, starting at the side across from the 1 inch border you left clean.
Pull the log back on itself(fold in half) and twist it a couple of times.
Place each twisted log in a loaf pan and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Set these aside to rise again, about another 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350*, I set mine to 330* because it can run hot and this is a long bake. While you are waiting, use a fork to stir together the ingredients for the topping. You want it to have some small pea-sized chunks of butter, but the mixture should stick together if squeezed. A nice crumbly texture is what you are looking for.
Once the dough has risen for the second time, brush the top of each loaf with egg wash(1 egg + 1 Tablespoon of water) and equally distribute the topping mixture over each loaf. Super gently press the topping on the loaf to get it to stick. You don’t want that awesome topping falling off when you go to slice you babka.
Now bake for 45 minutes, rotating after about 30 minutes. After the 45 minutes is up, check the top of the babkas. If they are getting too brown, lightly cover them with foil, be careful not to burn yourself. Decrease the temperature to 300* and allow to bake another 20 minutes.