Babka is a rich yeast bread that is similar to a brioche. The cookie butter filling and streusel in this recipe gives it a delicate taste and texture that really complements the sweet, buttery flavours of this amazing dessert!
Pour flour, sugar and instant yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together. Next, add instant coffee, vanilla extract and salt to warmed (not scalding) milk and stir. Then, pour milk mixture and eggs into the flour and knead dough with hook attachment for about two minutes or until it comes begins to come together.
Step 2: Add butter one tablespoon at a time
After about two minutes, begin to add in the softened butter one tablespoon at a time. Make sure each tablespoon is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next. After the last bit of butter has been added, the dough should be smooth and a bit tacky to the touch.
Step 3: Allow dough to rise
Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean dishtowel or cling wrap. Place in a warm area and allow the dough to rise for about 1.5 hours or until dough has almost doubled in size. You may also choose to allow it to rise overnight in a refrigerator.
Step 4: Make the streusel
While the dough is rising, prepare the streusel filling. Add the cookie crumbs, flour, brown sugar and cocoa powder into a small bowl and stir together. Next, rub the softened butter into the cookie crumb mix with your fingertips until the mixture clumps together to form small balls and resembles a course meal.
Step 5: Roll out dough and fill up
Once the dough has risen, sprinkle a little flour on the pastry mat then roll out the dough to a rectangle approximately 18” x 12” wide. Warm the cookie butter in a microwave for about 30 seconds or until it becomes soft, then spread all over the dough. Next, cover the cookie butter with the streusel mix. Finally, roll up the dough tightly, starting with one of the longer side.
Step 6: Cut the dough open and twist into a log.
Next, Place dough seam side down and slice open lengthwise down the middle. Turn cut sides facing up and cross over each other to form an ‘X”. Twist the pieces at the top and bottom of the “X” together to form one giant log twist.
Step 7: Form wreath and bake.
Transfer the dough to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Shape into a circle and tuck the ends under each other to close. Cover and allow to it rise for another 1.5 hours. Dough will not double in size but will rise slightly. After 1.5 hours, place in a 375°F oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a deep golden brown colour.
Step 8: Prepare simple syrup
While the babka is baking, prepare the simple syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan on medium high heat and stir continuously until the mixture begins to boil. Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved then remove from heat.
Step 9: Brush and enjoy!
After the babka is done, use a pastry brush to brush the syrup all over. It will keep the babka moist and fresher longer and give it a pretty, glazed appearance so don’t skip this step! Keep applying until all the syrup is absorbed. Allow to cool, then slice and enjoy!
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