The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Babka recipe--Inside the Jewish Bakery

Aric's picture

Babka recipe--Inside the Jewish Bakery

This book is great fun but the recipe for chocolate babka loaf is giving me fits. I've made it three times and each time the loaves emerge from the oven fully risen, glories to behold. And then as they cool they sink back into themselves until they become very tasty flat cakes. Is it me? The recipe? Something else entirely? I've followed the instructions to the letter. All suggestions gratefully received.

plevee's picture

Three separate errors in this recipe are listed.

Doeyo's picture

For a really great chocolate yeast babka try:

Carole Walter (Oct 16, 2007)Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets for Morning to Midnight by Carole Walter (Oct 16, 2007) on amazon for $12.50 approx. used.    Great recipe--correct too--and I think you'll also like the entire book.   The yeast rugelach are to die for.    I know ITJB is the hot talk on all the forums right now but I don't like to waste my time and money on ingredients for a recipe that doesn't work.   Carole Walter recipes work as do those by Beatrice Ojakangas and Bernard Clayton--I bake yeast products from all of them.  And no, I'm not related to any of them!   Happy Baking!  Joeyo the Doeyo

BettyR's picture

by an on-line-friend who said it was an old family recipe. We have enjoyed this recipe very much over the years and it has been an instant hit wherever we take it. But I have always been a little curious as to just how authintic this recipe is. Is this anything like an actual Jewish Babka?

Cinnamon Bun Babka

2 heaping tablespoons white sugar
1/3-cup honey
1/2 stick butter (chopped)
1-teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups scalded milk
2/3-cup cool water
2 large eggs beaten
5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (If you can find bread flour you can use that and skip the gluten)
3 heaping tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2-1/2 teaspoons or 1 packet of yeast

***Put the first 5 ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed. Stir with a rubber spatula until the butter is melted.
***Add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed and select the dough cycle. When the machine first starts you will need to use the rubber spatula to help mix the flour and the liquid or it won't mix well. Just stir with the rubber spatula until all the flour is moistened.
***While you wait for the dough cycle to finish, make your filling and preheat the oven to 325°. Spray a sheet pan with spray-oil, cover with wax paper or parchment paper and spray again.

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2-cup flour
1-tablespoon cinnamon
1/2-cup butter (I use real butter here-I've never tried margarine)
***Mix dry ingredients together, cut in butter. Place in refrigerator until needed.

***Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface. Coat with flour so it doesn't stick to your hands or the counter. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, 12x24 inches. Spread the filling evenly over the dough and roll up jelly roll style so that you end up with a 24-inch long roll. Pinch the edges to seal.
***Starting at one end and working your way down the dough a little at a time, twist the dough as though you were wringing out a dishtowel; the roll will get longer as you twist it. Do this gently as not to tear the dough but well enough that it is well twisted and almost doubled in length.
***Then 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 and let dough rest for 10 minutes, then bake at 325° for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the Babka is golden brown.
***Make a glaze out of powdered sugar, water and a little vanilla. Drizzle this over the Babka and let it cool.

Aric's picture

Happy to report that I followed Stan's advice to bake the loaves a bit longer and I used the new measurements included in the errata PDF. The results were great.
Very nice to send questions directly to Stan, the cookbook author, and get answers!

linder's picture

How much longer?  5 minutes, 10 minutes, more?



Aric's picture

Sorry I wasn't clear. I baked the two loaves for 42 minutes and left em in e oven for a minute more while I searched for my Ove gloves. As I said, very successful. Aric