I saw this first at Panera and though it is not a copycat, it was delicious. The recipe comes from The Food Network magazine that I just recently subscribed. It has some wonderful other things in it I want to try like chocolate ice cubes. How cool is that?
My husband ate half the loaf in one night (which is why I had to use the flash and take a picture quick!). That is how good this is. I might try adding the filling to my cinnamon roll dough next. Yum!
I’m a huge fan of the bread machine, however, I didn’t use it here. 1, the method is really easy and the mixer did all the work. 2, the rise times and such were not the standard ones I normally see, so I don’t think the bread machine would work well.
yield 6-8 servings; or 2 LOL
1 and 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 and 3/4 cup bread flour
3 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 Tb. butter, room temp.
Filling (the best part!):
1/2 cup blanched almonds or pecans (I used pecans)
1/3 cup sugar
4 Tbs. butter, room temp.
2 Tb. dark rum (I omitted this)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest, optional (I didn’t use it)
1/4 tsp. almond extract
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 Tb. powdered sugar
1/3 cup AP flour
3 Tb. butter, room temp
1 egg, beaten
1. Make dough: throw the yeast and water into your mixer and let it sit for 5 minutes. Hopefully it will be a little frothy. You want to make sure your yeast is alive before going through all this work!
2. Add milk, sour cream, 1 egg YOLK, 1/2 cup of flour. Beat with the paddle attachment.
3. On low, beat in the rest of the flour and scrape the sides. Beat 4 minutes. Change the speed to medium high and add WHOLE egg, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat again 3-4 minutes.
4. While the mixer is on, add the butter a little at a time and stop once it is just combined.
5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and sit 90 minutes. Stir the dough and cover in the fridge 3 hours or overnight.
6. On top of a piece of parchment or silicone mat, use lots and lots of flour on your space because the dough is very sticky. Roll the dough into a 11″x15″ rectangle. Cover again and put in the fridge again for 1-2 hours.
7. Make the YUMMY filling: put the pecans or almonds into the food processor with the sugar and process until fine crumbs. Through the feed tube, I added the butter, egg, vanilla, cinnamon (Rum and orange zest optional) and almond extract. Pulse the processor until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Cover and store in the fridge for 1 hour.
8. Make the streusel: Just mix it all up with your fingers until you get clumps. Easy peasy! But I don’t know how my babka looks nothing like their primarily the streusel.
9. Spray or butter a 9×5 loaf pan. Make sure to not put filling 1″ around the outside of the dough. Take a spatula to smear the filling over the dough. Sprinkle with the semisweet chocolate. I always gently press this into the filling, so it doesn’t spill everywhere later.
10. You can watch the pics on Food Network. Here are the instructions for babka:
a. with the short side towards you, roll the dough away as tight as possible. You can try and use the parchment paper to help.
b. Then, take the roll and twist it a few times.
c. Fold the twist in half and squish into the loaf pan. It fit rather nicely when I did it. The photos have holes in the dough. I used mini semisweet chocolate chips and had no breakage in the dough. Came close, but no.
11. Let this rise 2 hours.
12. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Brush the egg onto the loaf. Sprinkle the streusel on top. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes. The bread should spring back when pushed. My bottom nearly burned at their recommended 1 hour. I suggest checking around 45 minutes or so. I can’t imagine going 1 hour 10 minutes.
13. Loosen the loaf with a butter knife and let cool 1 hour in the pan. Let finish cooling on a wire rack.
Whew! It was yummy. It was worth it. Just took a LOT of time. I let my babka cool outside because I was tired of waiting and that seemed to work well. It is 35 degrees or so outside at night.
Recipe pretty much from Food Network Magazine.