Babka is a sweet braided bread of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, prepared with a filling such as chocolate, cinnamon, fruit, or cheese.
– 4 cups flour
– 2 tsp yeast
– 1 cup milk
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1 egg
– 2 egg yolks
– 150g butter
1. Combine the yeast and warm milk and let sit 5 minutes.
2. Whisk together the egg, egg yolks, vanilla, sugar, and honey.
3. Add in the yeast mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
4. Gradually mix in the flour.
5. Add in the butter and mix well.
6. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
7. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth.
8. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Cover each with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit at room temperature for at least two hours.
9. Preheat oven to 190C.
10. Once the dough has doubled in size, roll the dough into a rectangle.
11. Cover the dough with a filling leaving 2cm on each side.
12. Roll the dough up.
13. Carefully cut each log vertically in half making sure the seam is side down.
14. Lay one piece of dough horizontally and lay another piece over it vertically so you have a ‘plus sign’.
15. Lay another piece horizontally over the vertical piece, above the other horizontal piece.
16. Lay the final piece vertically on the right of the other vertical piece.
17. Starting with the bottom vertical piece on the right side, bring it to the left layering it over the other vertical lower piece. Do this around the dough clockwise.
18. Once returned to the bottom lower vertical pieces, take the lower left vertical piece and cross that over to the right layering it over the last piece you used. Continue this counterclockwise until back at the bottom.
19. Tuck in the excess pieces of dough under the bread.
20. Transfer the bread into a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush with egg wash.
21. Bake for 35-45 minutes.