Introduction: PB&J Babka
If you are American you likely have experienced the quintessential childhood snack or lunch-- the peanut butter and jelly sandwich (dubbed the PB&J). Usually, PB&J sandwiches use white sandwich bread, but I decided to take that concept and apply it to a sweet, Eastern European braided bread called a Babka. If you've ever had brioche or challah bread, the concept is pretty similar.
Usually, babkas have a crispy crust and a flaky, soft dough with a cinnamon or chocolate filling, but this way we can skip the effort and time needed to make a pb&j sandwich and have it all together in one yummy slice!
Keep scrolling to see how to make it :)
This recipe is adapted from Joshua Weissman's Chocolate Brioche recipe. You can find that here!
Step 1: Ingredients
Here is what you'll need
- 530g all-purpose flour
- 100g granulated sugar
- 10g instant yeast
- 175g lukewarm water (or about 90ºF)
- 3 large eggs
- 150g unsalted, room temp butter ---NOT PICTURED (oopsie!)
- 2g fine sea salt
- neutral oil for greasing your bowl (I used canola)
- Creamy or crunchy nut butter of your choice (I used creamy peanut)
- Fruit preserves or jam (I used raspberry)
The amounts will vary but I would estimate that you'll need around 1/3cup each
Step 2: Bloom the Yeast
Take your yeast and add the lukewarm water. Give it a mix with a non-metal utensil until well combined.
Let this sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients
Add your dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, sugar, salt) into a stand mixer bowl and mix with a dough hook attachment until combined
Start mixing the dry ingredients with the stand mixer on medium-low.
Step 4: Making the Dough
1. Incorporate your eggs and the bloomed yeast we prepared.
2. Let the mixer run until it begins to form a dough, periodically stopping to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
3. Once it forms a rough dough, add the room temperature butter in increments. Keep the stand mixer on medium speed.
4. Continue mixing for about 8-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth.
NOTE: If you find that the mixture is not forming into dough, add a tablespoon of water and continue to mix.
Step 5: Chill the Dough
Grease a medium bowl liberally, making sure to evenly coat the sides and bottom. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the fridge overnight, or in the freezer for around 3-4hrs
Step 6: Dough Prep
Take the dough out of the freezer and using a dough scraper or a similar tool, divide the dough into two.
Prepare a well-floured work surface and roll the dough until it forms a rough square. As long as it is a large and even shape you're fine.
Step 7: Fillings
Take your peanut butter and jelly and spread them evenly on the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges to seal later.
Step 8: Braid the Dough
This is the most exciting part! To give your babka its signature braided look, first, take some water and brush the border of your dough all around.
Roll your dough horizontally as shown in the picture.
Take a knife and cut the rolled dough length-wise and then pinch the ends of each half together.
Fold each half over the other, twisting it like a braid until you reach the other end and pinch those together as well. (I was busy braiding and my floured hands couldn't document this portion! If you have any questions please ask in the comments!)
Take the long braided dough and turn it inwards as shown in the picture, until you have a babka that will fit in our loaf pan.
Step 9: Prep the Pan
Take parchment and lay it into a loaf pan both vertically and horizontally.
Place your dough into the pan, cover it with a damp towel, and let this proof at room temp for about an hour.
Step 10: Bake!
Now that the dough is done proofing, preheat an oven to 180C or 375F and bake the babka for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is a nice golden-brown--making sure to check on it near the end.
Step 11: Finishing Touches
Take 1:1 sugar and water and simmer on the stove to make a simple syrup. Brush the syrup over your babka, slice, and serve!
This is great as a quick breakfast, snack, or afternoon tea treat with a glass of cold milk or tea. Hope you enjoy!
Participated in the
Baking Speed Challenge