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Cinnamon Babka

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Cinnamon bread on steroids is how I like to describe this delicious loaf! For those who think many cinnamon breads lack flavor, this is the loaf of your dreams. You'll get cinnamon flavor in almost every bite of this sweet, rich dough, with some special pockets of gooey cinnamon-spiced filling that I usually save for last. Cook's Country made the directions so clear, this is definitely not a yeast bread to fear, but to savor.

Babka makes for a beautiful Easter brunch treat, but deserves to be enjoyed throughout the year as well. 

Recipe from Cook's Country, makes one loaf


 
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Step 1: Gather ingredients

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Filling:

1 cup (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg white
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt

Dough:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) whole milk, heated to 110 degrees
2 large egg yolks, plus 1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened


Step 2: For the dough

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Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Grease large bowl. Whisk milk, egg yolks, and vanilla together in 1-cup measuring cup. 

Using stand-mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, sugar, yeast, and salt on low speed until combined. Slowly add milk mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium-low and add butter, 1 piece at a time, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Continue to mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, 10 to 12 minutes. (If after several minutes of mixing the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of extra flour. Because I have a Pro model KA with spiral dough hook, my dough was smooth after 6 minutes.)

Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in turned-off oven until dough has risen slightly, about 1 hour. 

Place in refrigerator until dough is firm and has doubled in size, at least 1 hour. 

Step 3: Prepare filling

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While dough rests, prepare filling. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Set aside 1 tablespoon filling. 

Step 4: Shape loaf

Line 8.5 inch by 4.5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang over edges. (I used a 9x5-inch loaf pan and greased the pan and parchment to ensure a smooth release.) 

Punch down dough on lightly floured counter. Roll out dough to 20 by 14-inch rectangle. Spread all but 1 tablespoon filling over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. (This dough rolls out quite easily, the filling spreading is more of a challenge; as you can see, I dollop pieces all over the dough and spread the filling over the dough using a small offset spatula, it takes a few minutes, be patient and somewhat gentle.)

Working from short side, roll dough into a cylinder and pinch along seam to seal. Position cylinder seam side up and roll back and forth until stretched to 18-inch length. 

Spread reserved filling over top of cylinder. Fold cylinder on top of itself and pinch ends to seal. Gently twist double cylinder twice to form double figure eight. 

Place shaped dough seam side down in prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic, and let rise in turned-off oven until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 


Step 5: Bake and enjoy

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Lightly beat whole egg in bowl. Remove loaf from oven and discard plastic. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush loaf with beaten egg. Bake until deep golden brown and loaf registers 190 degrees, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely, about 2 hours. Serve. 

Cook's Country recommends if baking in a 9x5-inch pan to check the loaf for doneness at 40 minutes, though the babka took 50 minutes to be done in my oven. 

To Make Ahead: instead of letting dough rise after shaping and placing in pan, cover shaped loaf with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Let dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.

Wrapped in foil, this bread kept well for me 2 days at room temperature. Babka tastes fine cut into slices as is, though my favorite way to serve and eat is toasted and spread with butter. Enjoy! 

zaphodd4212 days ago

I discovered babka last year and have been dreaming of it since! I dont know why I didnt just look up a recipe here. This is printed out and sitting on my counter for next weekend!!

molliestraub5 months ago
The first time I made this, I baked it for 38 minutes and it was 190 degrees. It was undercooked. Maybe i didn't insert the thermometer correctly. The next time, I baked it for 49 minutes and it was perfect. This is the best cinnamon bread I have ever tasted. Day 3 and it is still fresh and soft.
There's another babka!?
Rose962 years ago
I am in heaven. I may have just died. I made an account on here just so i could comment on this post and tell you how freaking amazing my babka came out. You were my savior today and im so thankful for this wonderful recipe. Mine didn't come out quite as beautiful as yours but i assure you it tastes marvelous <3
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bobcatsteph3 (author)  Rose962 years ago
Welcome Rose96, and great job on the bread! I enjoyed it for both breakfast and dessert, babka will definitely be my go-to cinnamon bread recipe here on out!
bobcatsteph3 (author) 2 years ago
Thanks everyone for the nice comments!
sounds absolutly delicous and i think ill make since my favorite spice is cinnamon so if u can make it so can i and i wil and thanks bobcatsteph3 keep up the great work
Sounds tasty! I love cinnamon breads!
spatterson2 years ago
Great job on the step-by-step photos and instructions!
spatterson2 years ago
OMG! That looks delicious!
LionArch0072 years ago
Yum!!
MeVirtually2 years ago
If this is like their Ultimate Cinnamon Roll recipe, and it looks like it is, this will be delicious! Thanks for sharing!