As my other half is polish, in these three years together I got to know many dishes and sweets traditional to his culture and loved them so much I couldn’t contain myself to try make my own version of a babka (a sweet yeasty cake that comes from the word babcia=grandmother). I’m quite pleased by the end result although I’m sure with practice it could be even better and there are so many options you could choose, I made a braid in a loaf tin and tried 2 big swirls with the remaining dough.
- 7g active dry yeast
- 125g milk lukewarm
- 50g brown sugar
- 40g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 250g all purpose flour
- 1pinch of salt
- Flakes almonds to sprinkle on top
- 120g brown sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g dried apricots
- 3 tbsp Brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 glass of water
Whisk milk and yeast together and leave for a couple mins while you scale the other ingredients. Flour, butter, sugar and salt can all go into the mixing bowl until the butter is incorporated. Add the milk mixture and the egg last, the consistency should be sticky, kind of wet and soft. Leave covered in a bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
Cream the butter add sugar and ground almonds for the filling, make sure it’s spreadable. Chop the apricots. Put sugar, cinnamon and water in a little pot, an empty vanilla pod if you have one hanging around the house and bring to a boil once the babka is out of the oven.
The dough should be almost double the size after one our. Use a rolling pin to make it a little less than one inch thickness. Spread butter and almonds, chopped apricots and some flakes almonds. Roll the dough into itself to make a big swirl. Now with cinnamon buns you’d cut it in individual swirls and place it in the tin next to one another but I wanted to try make a braid so I cut the dough length wise and braid it like I would my hair! It’s a little messy and it tends to stick everywhere so make sure you have plenty of flour around you! Place the braid in the tin, cover with cling film and let it rise again for at least 30 mins.
Preheat the over to 180C for 20 mins until golden, once out of the oven brush with the cinnamon syrup and let it rest for a couple of minutes before taking it out of the mould .