Babka is similar to Finnish buns. I remember this exaggerated puffed-up bread so well from the Jewish bakeries in South Africa and the homes of many friends. This is a recipe from
Mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Crumble the yeast into a smaller bowl, add the milk and oil and mix through. Leave for 10 minutes or so to begin activating, then pour the yeast into the flour mixture, scraping out the bowl well. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook, mix until well combined. Alternatively, mix with very well-floured hands.
Add the eggs and mix a little longer to combine. The dough should be thick and a little difficult to mix, even with the mixer. It will seem very sticky. Turn it out onto a floured work surface, incorporating more flour if necessary, so that it is still very sticky but not actually sticking to your hands. Work it around, kneading for about 10 minutes. Grease a large clean bowl with a little melted butter.
Put the dough in the greased bowl, turning it greased side up. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours, or until it is light and doubled in size. Divide the dough in half and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface. It will still feel quite sticky. Roll it out to make a
Mix the cinnamon with the brown sugar. Spread half the butter over the rolled out dough and scatter half of the cinnamon sugar over the surface. Roll up the dough into a long sausage along its longest edge. Set aside and do the same with the other half of the dough. Braid the two dough ropes together, pressing hard to seal the edges together. Twist the dough braid to tighten the loaf.
Put into a greased
This is a dream served just slightly warm but it is a little more difficult to cut. It will keep for 24 hours, or toast it lightly and spread with a little butter or even a citrus curd.
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