So, in Pastry School, we had a 6-week bread course. Of all the bread I made, the rich, sweet, flaky ones were my favorite. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need milk, eggs, and butter to create rich challahs and flaky croissants. You just need strong arms (or a stand mixer w/ a dough hook attachment), a clean countertop, and a little bit of patience!
The secret to flaky layers or stretchy dough is to knead the dough long enough, but not too long! Doing the “Window Pane” test is the best way to ensure you’ve done sufficient kneading! Here is a quick video of me testing the Babka Dough.
This Babka is perfect for breakfast or a brunch addition. Simply top it with vegan butter or cream cheese and enjoy! You could even toast it up, and eat it plain!
Here is the recipe! Followed by a video of how to roll out, fill and twist the Babka in order to get that swirled Babka look!
- 1/2 c. Sugar
- 1 c. Water (warm), up to 1/2 c. more if needed
- 2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1/3 c. Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 4 c. AP Flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- *CHOCOLATE FILLING
- 1/2 c. Vegan Butter, melted
- 1/2 c. Dark Chocolate
- 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 c. Cocoa Powder
- *CINNAMON FILLING
- 1 c. Brown Sugar
- 1/4 c AP Flour
- 1 T Cinnamon
- 2 T Vegan Butter, Melted
- 1-2 T Water
- 1/4 c. Brown Sugar
- 1/4 c. AP Flour
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1-2 T Vegan Butter, Melted
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough attachment, combine 1 cup of warm water, sugar, and yeast. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it becomes bubbly.
- Add remaining dough ingredients.
- Mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. The dough should be soft but not too dry. If it seems dry or hard, add up to 1/2 cup more of water.
- Mix for about 3 more minutes or until it is soft and springy. (Here is where I use the windowpane test above to ensure I achieve my desired texture)
- Turn out onto a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel and let it proof until it is doubled in size.
- This will take about an hour. During this time, prepare your fillings and streusel by combining all the ingredients in small bowls. For the streusel, start with 1 Tablespoon of butter, and add more if it’s too dry. Not exceeding 3 Tablespoons.
- Prepare 2 loaf pans (Mine were 9 inches by 5 inches) w/ spray and flour or parchment.
- Turn out dough onto lightly greased surface. Divide into 2 pieces. Set one aside, covered until you’re ready to use it.
- Roll Dough into a square (mine were between 12 and 14 inches on each side).
- Spread on your fillings as even as possible, and roll into a log.
- Slice your log down the middle, twist one side of your log clockwise and the other side counterclockwise, and then twist them together.
- Pinch the end to seal, and then carefully place it into your loaf pan.
- Repeat with your second portion of dough and your other filling, and cover both of your loaves with a towel.
- Leave to rest at room temperature until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375*
- Once your Babka has doubled in size, Brush your cinnamon babka with water, and top with as much streusel as your heart desires!
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until they are nicely browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out without doughy-ness on it.
- Allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will allow them to finish cooking and the filling will be set enough to avoid a mess.
- (The video below shows how I fill and twist the Babka if the instructions were confusing.)