The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Holly96Rose's picture

So today i made a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Babka. I am quite new to baking and i'm fairly certain i'm not taking the regular route a novice baker would. I've made a few loaves of regular bread, some Pita bread that was quite heavenly (along with some Pita chips), and now today a Babka. I'm thinking about a baguette or perhaps some bagels next. Anyway here are some pictures of this lovely piece of heaven! 

It was really cool getting the twist right on it. I should have rolled it out a little longer when it was still dough so i could add another twist but im pleased with the look. 

Some of it's gooey delicousness :)

If you'd like the recipe for it just let me know. This is my first attempt at making a babka so any feedback would be great! I realize it may not be the prettiest thing you've ever seen but i'm learning!

gmagmabaking2's picture

We 3 gmas baked Babka!

March 31, 2013 - 4:34pm -- gmagmabaking2

We had a great, sweet, Easter Bake today... baking along with dabrownman... adding another state to our bake! What a way to spend Easter Sunday... I was thinking while the dough was rising in the pans... that today really is all about rising... there is no sweeter treat than the Rising of our Lord... 

But, I am thinking our bakes are pretty amazing looking and really quite pretty as an art form as well as an awesome delicious accompaniment for coffee, tea or whatever one "snockers" fruit with...LOL...

dabrownman's picture

The past 2 years we have been making an Easter Babka and this year the GMA’s decided to make it their Easter Bake (along with Hot Cross Buns), so naturally, we had to join them  for the Babka Rhamma Dhamma.  Ca't wat to see their Easter Babka Bakes!


This year we decided to do the traditional 2 sided roll up and then do a Twisted Sisters twist of the double roll.   We made the dough without the pumpkin pie spices to try to get a more chocolate flavor coming through and now consider the spices ‘optional’.


Once again we used our trusty Bundt pan to contain things and give the top a decorative look.  We increased the size of the bake to fill the Bundt pan up to maximum capacity, and a little more, since this Polish and Russian inspired babka is so tasty and goes so fast.


Like last year, we used walnuts, cocoa, chocolate chips and bourbon snockered fruits for the filling, dropped the pie spices but added brown sugar to this year’s roll up and add in goodies.  We did increase all of them to account for the larger babka.  We kept the streusel topping on the top and bottom of the loaf for the nice crunch and we kept the vanilla, powdered sugar milk glaze for the top.  This year we added a dusting of powdered sugar too.


This year, instead of just yeast water making the dough rise, we added in a large poolish too.  Each was  brought to peak, fed again and then refrigerated for 2 days.  We let the levains double on the counter after removing them from the fridge - about 4 hours.


We re-hydrated non fat dry milk powder for the dough liquid and used it to autolyse the dough dry ingredients for an hour.  After mixing in the levains with a spoon we did 10 minutes of slap and folds to get the gluten developed, before allowing the dough to rest for 15 minutes.


We did 2 sets of S&F’s, on 30 minute intervals, to develop the dough further.  After another 15 minute rest we rolled out the dough a little less than ½” thick and into a huge rectangle 24” x 36”.  Half the butter in the formula is in the dough and the other half is softened and schmeared onto the rolled out dough before the rest of the fillings go in.  After sprinkling on the fillings in an even layer, then roll it up, from each wide side, meeting in the middle.


The starting in the middle, twist the roll toward each end to get the Twisted Sister part of the design.  The roll will get longer but no worries, you need the length to get around the Bundt pan twice.   Spray the pan liberally so nothing will stick, place half the streusel in the bottom of the pan and then coil in the Twisted Sister going around twice and ending where you began to ensure that the babka stays level as it rises.


Sprinkle the top with the rest of the streusel cover with oiled plastic and allow to proof on the counter for 1 hour before refrigerating overnight.   In the morning allow the babka to come to room temperature and finish proofing 1” above the rim of the pan.  Fire up the oven to 350 F convection and bake until golden brown and the inside temperature reaches 205 F - about 55 minutes.  Rotate the pan every 10 minutes to ensure even browning.


Remove pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before un-molding.  I run a paring knife around the outside and inside to make sure the babka comes away clean.  After 5 more minutes of cooling drizzle the vanilla glaze over the top and dust with powdered sugar.  Eat at least one slice while still warm otherwise warm up I the micro wave before serving.


This is a real Easter treat!  We love this for breakfast, brunch or dinner desert!  Nothing is overpowering or too sweet and the lack of PP spices really let the chocolate and walnuts shine through.

Happy Easter !


Poolish & YW Levain

Build 1




Pinch of AD Yeast










Whole Wheat










Yeast Water










Total Starter





Flour is split between the two levains










Poolish & YW Levain

























Levain % of Total










Dough Flour





W W Pastry Flour










Dough Flour















Rehydrated Non Fat Milk





Dough Hydration










Total Flour





Milk and Water





T. Dough Hydration





Whole Grain %










Hydration w/ Adds





Total Weight










Add - Ins





Butter 50 + 50














Brown Sugar 40 Cocoa 20





Walnuts 70, Chocolate Chips 130










Re-hydrated Snockered Fruits



After Snockering


Egg (2 medium)





Total Add ins










Optional Spices





1 tsp each Cinnamon and Nutmeg





1/2 tsp each Ginger, Allspice





1/4 tsp Cloves















1/8 C each of Walnut Maple Granola, APF flour




Sugar and Butter cut in with PP Spices.





dabrownman's picture

My daughter has a sorority sister in from CA staying with us this weekend and I wanted to make something she and my daughter  probably have never been fortunate to taste before.  This weeks ITJB bake is Babka so I thought I would give it a try - with a few twists and not just twisting the dough - which I also did.  This babka leans Polish but besides being leavened with minneola / apple yeast water,  in place of a coiled loaf - I used a Bundt pan.  In place of cake crumbs, I used a almond, vanilla, granola streusel.   I also added bourbon rehydrated dried fruits (apricots, cranberries, raisins), cocoa powder and chocolate chips to the filling.   Then I put a powdered sugar / vanilla drizzled glaze on top to finish it and anyone who eats it,  off.  This is a very flavorful breakfast bread that the yeast water really helps in its soft crumb and browning.  It is not as sweet as cinnamon rolls and it is twice a sophisticated.  We have a new breakfast favorite and special treat in  DaBrownman's house from now on.  It's just yummy! Recipe follows pix's.

Yeast Water,  Glazed, Spiced, Walnut, Bourbon Fruit, Chocolate Chip, Almond Granola Streusel Babka

 Dough Ingredients

1 T white sugar
1/6 C honey
1/4 stick butter (chopped in small pieces)
1/2 tsp salt
5/8 C scalded milk
1/3 C cold water
1 large egg beaten
2  C AP flour (If you use bread flour skip the vital gluten)

¾ C whole wheat pastry flour
1 T vital wheat gluten

200 g yeast water - entire levain build

 YW Levain Build

 Add 30 g flour to 30 g yeast water and mix well - let sit 4 hours.  Add 30 g flour and 30 g yeast water let sit 4 hours.  Add 60 g flour and 20 g yeast water and let sit 4 hours. It should be ready to go in 12 hours.


 Put the first 5 ingredients into the mixer. Stir with a rubber spatula until the butter is incorporated.

Add the rest of the ingredients with the exception of salt. Mix with dough hook until well incorporated 1 minute and then let autolyse covered for 1 hour.  Spread salt onto top of dough and mix on KA 3 for 8 minutes until window pane is achieved.  Move to a covered oiled bowl.  Let rest for 15 minutes then do 4 S &F’s on a floured surface.   Place back in a covered oiled bowl and let rest 15 minutes. Do 4 S & F’s on a floured surface and return to covered oiled bowl. Let rest 30 minutes.  While dough rests make the filling and streusel.

Spray bundt pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

 After dough has rested 30 minutes after last S&F roll out dough on a floured surface to a12”x20”x 3/8”.  Brush top with softened butter and sprinkle filling over the top.  Roll up dough jelly roll style from the long side and pinch seams together to make sure they don’t come apart.  Twist the roll like you would to wring out a wash cloth making the roll into a twist.  The roll will get longer and double in length to nearly4’as you do this.

 Place 2/3 rds of the streusel mix into the bottom of the bundt pan.  Place twisted dough into the sprayed bundt pan.  It should go around the bundt pan twice to end up with an even top.  Cover the top with the remaining streusel.  Let rise in pan, covered in plastic wrap for 1 hour.  Place in refrigerator over night.  It will rise about 20% overnight.

Take out of the fridge 2 hours before you bake.  Preheat oven to325 Fand bake babka for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from bundt pan and drizzle with a glaze of ½ C powdered sugar, 2 tsp milk and ½ tsp vanilla.  Let cool slightly and serve warm – Yummy!

 Filling Ingredients

3/8 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C flour
1 T pumpkin pie spice (ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves)

1/2 C chopped walnuts

½ C dried fruit (cranberry, raisin, sultanas, apricot) reconstituted in bourbon.

1 T cocoa powder

1/3 C chocolate chips

¼ C butter softened to brush on rolled out dough before filling is sprinkled over it.


 Mix dry ingredients together. Keep butter and reconstituted bourbon fruit separate from the dry.  Place in refrigerator until needed.


 1/2 C almond vanilla granola - crushed

¼ C flour

¼ C brown sugar

¼ C butter

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

pinch salt

 Cut butter into other ingredients with finger tips and place in refrigerator until needed

 Alternate – no bundt pan

Instead of using a pan, on a piece of parchment paper, coil the dough around like a pinwheel creating a super large cinnamon roll, tucking the loose end of the dough under so it doesn't unravel. Brush dough very well with melted butter to prevent a skin from forming, cover with streusel and let dough rest for 10 minutes.

 Bake at 325° F for 40 minutes on a stone until the Babka is golden brown.

.Make a glaze out of powdered sugar, milk and a little vanilla. Drizzle this over the Babka and let it cool slightly.  Serve warm.  Yummy!


Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 14: Loaf Babka (3/10/12 - 3/17/12) -- last week of Semester One baking!

March 11, 2012 - 10:35pm -- Urchina

Babka rocks. 

I will eat it always, now that I have eaten it once. 

This recipe is particularly good. I can say this with certainty, having tried no others and not feeling the need to, since this recipe hits all of my "happy pastry dance" buttons perfectly. 

This is also the last week of Semester One of the challenge. I'll be posting Semester Two within (hopefully) a week to ten days, but Semester Two won't start until early to mid-April. 

Thank you all for your fantastic baking efforts so far -- and enjoy this one!

MadAboutB8's picture


I found this recipe in Dan Lepard’s Exceptional Cake cookbook. Given that it was book about cake, I didn’t expect to see baked goods with yeast in there, especially not for the dish called Krantz Cake.

Apparently (quoting Dan Lepard) yeast cake is a feature of German baking. I was curious to find out how yeast leavened cake would be     different from baking powder or soda.

I expected the cake to have texture of soft bread, like brioche, something soft but still feel like bread. It actually turned out to be quite cakey soft, which I think resulted from the mixture of butter, egg yolks, cream cheese and sour cream in the dough. However, it wasn't as crumbly and fluffy as the typical cake. It still got some chewy texture in it which was rather nice. 

The recipe called for walnut, sugar and chocolate for bread filling. I replaced ground walnut and sugar with crushed peanut praline I made some weeks ago. The crushed peanut praline went well with the recipe. It gave caramelised crust and lovly flavour. The cake shape is similar to babka (cut-side-up plaited bread). 

Full post, more photos and recipe can be found here


MadAboutB8's picture

I was still trying to use up the coconut that was approaching its use-by date. Apart from making Cherry Ripe macarson the other week, I was thinking about coconut bread.

Trying to replicate the coconut bread from an Asian bakery that we love (it's buttery bread with random moist coconut filling throughout), I was thinking about making the bread into babka-shape with the coconut butter filling. I also made half of the batch into coconut rolls baked in a muffin pan.

This might not sound like traditional babka with one layer twisted dough, coconut filling and no struesel, it probably looks like one. Babka style shaping does make the bread pleasing to the eyes.

My house were filled with the wonderful aroma of coconut when the bread was being baked. With its sweet, creamy and toasty aroma, coconut is one of the most aromatically appetising food item, in my opinion.

Full post and recipe can be found here.


tordoc's picture

New Member Delurking - Samples included and looking to perfect food processor baguettes...

January 22, 2011 - 9:56pm -- tordoc


About me and bread making:  I'm at this for about 2 years.  Started with Cook's Illustrated Almost no Knead (beer yumm...), did a bit of Lahey, and a lot of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day  (Master, Peasant, Rye, Brioche and Challah both of which make amazing babka).  I've done some pretzels, bagels, and lots of pizza to please the kids and have done Pain ancienne a la Reinhart numerous times.  Love BBA and American Pie.  I've used a stand mixer, dough whisk, and bare hands with some  very good results.


Boboshempy's picture

Well, this is actually the Chocolate Cinnamon Babka recipe from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. I followed the recipe to a T except I substituted the chocolate for dark brown sugar, as per the request from my girlfriend, who barely ate any after it was done, haha.

I really like how it came out and I love the look. A loaf doesn't get any cooler looking than this and you can't go wrong with a rich, sweet, cinnamony, streusel topped bread. I gave my parents half the loaf and I pretty much ate the rest by myself over two days, my girlfriend only had a taste and acknowledged it was fantastic, she considers herself a expert. She had to look good in a bikini the following week so she said "I should stop making bread!".

This is the first bread I made out of this book, I have made many from PR's other books. I have my eye on taking a whirl at the croissant recipe in this book but I don't know when I will get to that. This was easy, fast, and fun to make and I will definitely be making it again, next time with the chocolate. It is a cool bread to bring to a dinner party for desert, in my opinion.

Enjoy the pictures,




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