Babka (Sweet bread with nut and spice filling)
- 1 vanilla pod
- 200ml milk
- 3 tsp instant yeast
- 70g golden caster sugar
- 500g bread flour
- 30g non-fat powdered milk
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs (large)
- 1 egg yolk (large, reserve the white for the filling)
- 3 tbsp softened butter
- 100g toasted walnut pieces
- 60g light brown sugar
- 100g golden icing sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg white (reserved from dough ingredients)
- 3 tbsp softened butter
- Egg wash – 1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp milk
- Extra butter (for greasing the tin)
- Extra flour (for dusting)
Makes 1 x 900g loaf (approx. 8-10 slices)
Tools: K-beater bowl tool/ Dough hook bowl tool
Add the split vanilla pod to the milk and heat the milk in a saucepan until warm so that the vanilla can infuse. It should be at around 37°C; so just warm, not too hot to the hand. Fit the CHEF Titanium with the K-Beater bowl tool and add the yeast to the bowl along with 1 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of the flour. Add the warm milk and mix at a low speed until combined. Leave to sit for around 5 minutes to let the yeast activate.
Next, add the remaining sugar, powdered milk and salt. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolk. Mix on a low speed until combined.
On the CHEF Titanium, change to the dough hook bowl tool and add 1/3 of the flour at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the flour is incorporated, knead in the machine for 2-3 minutes. Next add 1 tbsp of softened butter at a time and mix well after each addition.
Grease a large mixing bowl and place the dough inside – cover with cling film and keep in a warm place to double in size.
Fit the food processor attachment and place the walnuts into it, along with the sugars, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Pulse 2-3 times or until the walnuts are roughly chopped. Next add the egg white and butter and pulse 2-3 times or until the mixture is combined.
Preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F /Gas 3.
Grease the loaf tin with some butter. Cut 2 sheets of greaseproof paper. Cut one big enough to cover the bottom and side of the loaf tin lengthwise with an overhang of at least 5cm over each of the sides. Cut the other sheet big enough to cover the bottom and sides widthwise, with an overhang of at least 5cm over each side. Place the greaseproof paper inside the tin and secure with a little more butter if need be.
Lightly flour your work surface. Knock the dough back and roll out into a rectangle the thickness of a £1 coin – 25cm x 35cm (cut off any excess dough).
Spread the filling over the dough leaving a 2.5cm border. Brush a little egg wash over the border and begin to roll tightly lengthwise. Press the seam at the end to seal. Place seam side down and roll back and forth gently. You will end up with a log around 40-45cm long.
Twist the log and fold it in half making sure to keep it twisted. Place into the tin and leave it to rise again. The dough will almost double in size.
Before placing in the oven, brush the top with a little extra egg wash. Place on the bottom shelf of the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes.
Cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes then lift out and finish cooling on a cooling rack.
Recipe by Kenwood