Prep time30 minutes, plus rising time
Cook Time40 minutes
Equipment: Pre-cut parchment paper sheets
250 grams whole milk, lukewarm
2 teaspoon (7 grams) instant yeast
60 grams sugar
560 grams all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
2 eggs (about 100 grams not including shell), at room temperature
1 teaspoon (5 grams) vanilla bean paste
120 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
115 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
150 grams dark brown or light brown sugar
3 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon cardamom
Pinch of salt
100 grams granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
60 grams unsalted butter, melted
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the milk, yeast, sugar, flour, salt, eggs, and vanilla.
Mix on medium speed for 6-7 minutes, until the dough has come together.
Add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is almost incorporated to add the next piece, until all of the butter has been added. Mix the dough for a further 6-7 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Lightly grease a medium bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to stand on the counter for 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to rise for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. (See recipe notes for doing this all in one day)
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl until well incorporated.
Lightly grease two loaf pans, and line with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 16" x 25" rectangle (40x64cm). Spread the filling over the surface of the dough. Starting with the long side, roll up into a tight spiral. Measure the length of the sausage of dough, then cut in half so it is in two sausages.
Using a sharp knife, cut the first piece in half, lengthwise, and then cross the pieces over each other to form an ‘x’, and then cross over two more times at each end to form a twist. Place into the loaf pan, tucking the ends under slightly if needed. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
Lightly cover the loaf pans in plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough springs back lightly when pressed. While the loaves are proofing, preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c.
Bake for the loaves 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and measure 190°f / 90°c on an instant read thermometer.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pans for 15 minutes. While the loaves are cooling, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl and have the melted butter and a pastry brush nearby.
Remove the babkas from the pans and place on a sheet pan lined with a cooling rack. Working with one loaf at a time, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon sugar.
Store leftovers lightly wrapped at room temperature. I like to toast leftovers and serve warm with butter.