Between a brioche and a cake with luscious swirls of butter or jam, Babka is an old time classic that can be served at breakfast, as dessert, with coffee, or pretty much whenever the desire strikes. We’ve added floral flavours, with damson jam, cardamom and pistachio butter to this Eastern European staple.
1 Large Egg
12g Caster Sugar
210g Strong Flour
9g Fresh Yeast
85g Butter, melted
6–8 Cardamom Pods
140g Pistachio Butter
2g Ground Cinnamon
1 Pinch of Salt
150g Damson Jam, (you also can use any jam you have at hand if you don’t have this particular one)
25g Caster Sugar
1. To make the dough, place in order the egg, milk, sugar, honey and flour in a mixer with a dough hook affix to it. In a small recipient, mix the fresh yeast with a squeeze of lemon, until it forms a paste (this is a great way to remove the taste of yeast) and add it to the rest of the ingredients. Knead for two minutes on the lowest speed.
2. Add the salt to the mixer and increase the speed for two to three minutes.
3. Gently melt the butter and gradually add it in the mixer, until the dough is elastic and shiny.
4. Add the cardamom pods to the dough, form into a ball and prove for 4-5 hours or overnight in the fridge.
1. Add the cinnamon, salt and honey to the pistachio butter (if too thick to spread easily, loosen up with a little water).
2. Take out your babka dough out of the fridge, remove the cardamom pods and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 25cm by 45cm rectangle.
3. Using a palette knife spread the pistachio butter evenly and all the way to the edge of the dough.
4. Spread the damson jam over the pistachio butter.
5. Tightly roll up the babka into a log, lengthwise. Cover with cling film and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until firm.
6. Remove the dough from the freezer, and using a large knife, cut down the middle lengthwise. Hold the two halves of dough against each other with the exposed layers exposed on top, and twist them over and over to form a braid effect.
7. Transfer to a parchment lined and buttered loaf tin, cover with a damp towel and proof for another 2-3 hours at room temperature.
8. Bake at 155°C for 1 hour 15 minutes. Make sure to place foil over it after 30-45 minutes, to protect to top from turning too dark.
9. Meanwhile, make a sugar syrup by adding the water and sugar to a small saucepan. Heat while whisking until the sugar is dissolved and allow to cool.
10. As soon as your babka comes out of the oven, place on wire racks and brush it down with the syrup. Scatter the crushed pistachios over. Allow to cool for at least an hour before slicing and serving.