Cinnamon Babka

12 years ago - #breads#cinnamon

Be sure to give yourself a good head start time-wise by starting preparation several hours ahead or even the day before. This traditional bread-like cake originally hails from Poland.

Servings: One large loaf

  • 2½ to 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups bread flour
  • 1¼ cups (¾ pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum
  • zest of one lemon
  • zest of one orange
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2½ cups all-purpose flour and the bread flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into flours to create a crumbly mixture.

Combine the yeast, sugar, salt, water, milk, sour cream, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon rind and extracts together in another bowl, then stir into the flour mixture, adding enough of the remaining 1 cup all-purpose flour as needed to form a soft dough.

Knead dough several minutes on a lightly floured work surface, then place in a well-greased bowl, turning dough over once, and cover. Refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours to overnight.

Gently deflate dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough into a large, thin rectangle.

Combine ingredients for filling and sprinkle evenly over dough. Roll up (as for jelly roll) and place in a well-greased tube pan.

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins or currants (or combination of both)
  • ½ cup dried cherries or cranberries (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts

Brush with egg wash and make slits on top with a razor or sharp paring knife. Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until done. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes in pan on wire rack before removing. Cool completely on wire rack. Dust generously with powdered sugar before serving.

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If there's one piece of food that I am a total sucker for, it's a good cinnamon roll. They are like chocolate chip cookies: very dependent on one's preferences. I am very particular about cinnamon rolls, but almost always happy with any attempt. I've learned to make them exactly like I like them: flaky, full of cinnamon goodness, and with all embellishments possible.