The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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

dabrownman's picture

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

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!



Janetcook's picture

I WILL NOT let MY daughter see this latest recipe of yours  :-)

I was checking out the challenge 'room' last night and was intrigued by the latest ITJB bake but decided against giving it a try as this week I am working on recipes that use buttermilk as I just made up a fresh batch and want to see how it works in some of my breads.

I SHOULD NOT have entered the blog 'room' just now as your entry was what hit me first and now I am having to reconsider.....I really like your use of a Bundt pan and that is what caught my maybe Babka with buttermilk rather than regular milk.... DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!

I really do hate tempting my family with breads such as these....husband is trying desperately to loose weight and the teens are deathly afraid of gaining, being the mom, I try to bake taking those desires into consideration BUT boy do they love it when I deviate from my usual leaner loaves.....

Aaaaaghh....who can resist such temptation?  Not maybe I can bake this and give most of it away before my husband even gets home from work which is when he hits the bread box....

Thanks for the write up, photos and the temptation.... :-)

Take Care,


dabrownman's picture

I actually used skim milk since most of my recipes are low in fat and calories like this one :-)

Buttermilk as a sub would be absolutely fantastic and I will make it that way from now on and change the recipe to reflect it. 

Like your daughter, my daughter and her sorority friend from CA only ate 1/4 of the babka for breakfast with them being so weight consious and boy fixated but I had the other quarter without much effort at all and didn't gain a pound either.  I probably lost weight because I burn more calories to digest it than it has in it.  I can prove this fact with little work on my part that I'm not willing to provide at this time.  Alas, what a shame :-)

It actually is less sweet than a cinnamon roll and tastes like it should make one shed pounds easily.  I would make it if I were you, just to test my weight loss theory, and hide it in the freezer so no one can find it except you!

isand66's picture

I just gained 5 pounds reading your post!

Great looking long is that going to last in your house before it's gone?

dabrownman's picture

should lose weight by eating this babka......somehow.   I'm hoping there will be some left for tomorrow morning's breakfast.

isand66's picture

You could start a revolution....I can see it now...."The new Babka Diet....lose 10 pounds in 1 week...only excercize required is lifting fork to mouth!"

I will be your first customer :)

varda's picture

is awesome and such clear pictures!   -Varda

dabrownman's picture

I notoiced they were out of focus and the camera was not producing accurate colors for some reason.  I looked at the lens and saw that I had managed to cover it in Massive Babka Gradoo (MBG) of some kind.  So I cleaned it off and the bottom two pictures came out the way they should.  I just cant tell you how happy I am now that I have a camera with 'Food' and 'Close Up' settings.  Now if I can avoid MBG.......

Thanks for the babka kudo's - it really tastes as good as it looks, when photographed properly.  This YW is still impressive and undefeated.  I'll have to try it out on some of your Borodinsky :-)

EvaB's picture

a real push, I have been not feeling up to doing much of anything, but this has made me think about clearing the stuff off the counter and giving it a try. If I had yeast water that is. Must make some of that! But it definitely is going onto the to do list once I seem to recover some oomph!