Babka is a Jewish brioche bread that is rolled with a filling inside, then sliced and twisted to create a beautiful layered effect. The dough is quite similar to my cinnamon rolls, so if you’re familiar with those, this will be an easy bake for you.😉
There are lots of different fillings you can choose for your babka. Chocolate is the most common, and I’ll post a chocolate babka soon. But first, I wanted to do a cinnamon babka because cinnamon is my absolute favorite and my kids love cinnamon swirl bread.
The dough is extremely tender, and the cinnamon filling adds a nice sweetness with a touch of spice. The babka is finished with a simple syrup that makes the outside sticky and sweet. You can choose to omit the syrup if you wish, but it is traditional in a babka.
How to Make Babka
Babka is a simple brioche dough that requires very little effort if you have a stand mixer. Start by putting the flour, sugar, yeast and salt into the mixing bowl and giving it a stir to combine all of the dry ingredients together.
Next, pour in the warm water and the eggs and let the dough hook mix on low speed for one minute. Add the melted butter slowly and continue to mix. Let the dough hook knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on medium-low speed.
Add the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough set for 60-90 minutes until doubled in size.
When the dough is almost ready, prepare the filling. Split the dough in half. If you weighed the ingredients, you should have 1050 grams of dough, split into two 525 loaves. It’s okay if your dough isn’t exactly 1050, but do try to split them evenly.
Using one half of the dough, roll the dough into a thin rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread half of the cinnamon filling onto the dough using a small offset spatula. Leave about an inch around the edge with no filling, so it doesn’t spill out.
Starting at one of the long ends, roll the dough up to the other side, tucking the end under. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half and allow the inside to roll out, facing upwards. Lay one side of the dough over the top of the other one, crossing in the middle (like an X). Now, loosely twist the bottom half of the dough, pinching the ends together. Repeat by twisting the top of the dough in the opposite direction, again pinching the ends together.
Transfer to an oiled and parchment lined loaf pan. I use the Chicago Metallic 1-pound loaf pans and they are perfect for this recipe.
Bake for 30 minutes. The top of the bread will be a beautiful golden brown.
While the breads are in the oven, make the simple syrup. Use a pastry brush to brush over the entire top of the bread immediately after you take them out of the oven. You should use all of the syrup between the two loaves.
Cinnamon BabkaCourse: DessertDifficulty: Medium
All Purpose Flour 575g
(4 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp)
Active Dry Yeast 1 Tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Warm Water 158g
Butter, melted 113g
Cinnamon Filling (recipe follows)
Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Use a dough hook and mix on low to combine.
- Add the eggs and warm water and continue mixing on low speed.
- Add the butter in a slow continuous stream. Turn the mixer up to medium-low and mix for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be very soft. Do not add more flour.
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Set aside for 60-90 minutes until doubled in size.
- Prepare the cinnamon filling (recipe below).
- Split the dough in half. Set one half aside and roll the other half into a thin rectangle. It should be about 12×16 inches.
- Spread the cinnamon filling over the dough, leaving an inch around the edges. Roll up the dough, starting at one long side and rolling to the other side. Tuck the edge under.
- Cut the dough in half along the length of the dough (see picture above). Allow the cut side to roll out so it’s facing upward. Cross one side over the other in the middle (like an X). Twist the dough, placing one side over the other, and repeating until you get to the end. Pinch the ends together. Place the dough into the prepared pan.
- Repeat with the other loaf.
- Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the dough to rise again.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil two loaf pans and line with parchment paper.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the simple syrup over the top of the loaves as soon as they come out of the oven.
- Warm water from the tap is fine.
cinnamon filling Directions
- In a bowl, stir together 1/2 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 3 Tbsp cinnamon. It should be a soft paste.
simple syrup Directions
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.