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Cook's Country Cinnamon Babka

Filling
1 cuppacked (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1-1/4 ounces)all-purpose flour
2 tablespoonsunsalted butter, melted and cooled
1large egg white
2 teaspoonsground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoonsalt
Dough
1/2 cupwhole milk, heated to 110 degrees F
2large egg yolks plus 1 large egg
1 teaspoonvanilla extract
2 cups (10 ounces)all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces)sugar
1-1/2 teaspoonsinstant or rapid-rise yeast
1/2 teaspoonsalt
8 tablespoonsunsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened
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Cook's Country Cinnamon Babka - Instructions


Notes: Once you have added the butter in step 3, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of
the bowl after five minutes of mixing, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of extra flour. The test kitchen's
favorite loaf pan measures 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 inches. If you use a standard 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, start
checking the babka for doneness after 40 minutes. Serves 8

1. For the filling:Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Set aside 1 tablespoon filling.

2. For the dough: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees F. When oven
reaches 200 degrees F, turn it off. Grease large bowl. Whisk milk, egg yolks and vanilla together in
1-cup liquid measuring cup.

3. Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, sugar, yeast and salt on low speed until
combined. Slowly add milk mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to
medium-low and add butter, 1 piece at a time, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Continue to mix until
dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl., 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer dough to prepared bowl,
cover with plastic wrap, and place in turned-off oven until dough has risen slightly, about 1 hour.

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Cook's Country Cinnamon Babka - Instructions Continued

Place in refrigerator until dough is firm and has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.

4. Line 8-1/2 inch by 4-1/2 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang over edges.
Punch down dough on lightly floured counter. Roll out dough to 20-inch by 14-inch rectangle. Spread all
but 1 tablespoon reserved filling over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Working from short
side, roll dough into cylinder and pinch along seam to seal. Position cylinder seam side up and roll
back and forth until stretched to 18-inch length. Spread reserved filling over top of cylinder. Fold
cylinder on top of itself and pinch ends to seal. Gently twist double cylinder twice to form double
figure eight. Place shaped dough seam side down in prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic, and let
rise in turned-off oven until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5. Lightly beat whole egg in bowl. Remove loaf from oven and discard plastic. Heat oven to 350 degrees
F. Brush loaf with beaten egg. Bake until deep golden brown and loaf registers 190 degrees F, about 45
minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely, about 2
hours. Serve. Makes 8 servings

To Make Ahead
Instead of letting dough rise in step 4, cover shaped loaf with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to

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Cook's Country Cinnamon Babka - Instructions Continued

24 hours. Let dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.

Test Kitchen Technique: Shaping Cinnamon Babka
1. Roll out the chilled dough into a 20 by 14-inch rectangle and spread all but 1 tablespoon of filling
over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges.
2. Starting at a short edge, roll the filled dough into a tight cylinder and pinch to seal the seam.
Stretch log to 18 inches by gently rolling it back and forth with seam side up.
3. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon of filling over the top of the cylinder and fold the cylinder on
top of itself, pinching the ends together to seal.
4. Gently twist the folded cylinder twice to form a double figure eight and place it seam side down in a
parchment-lined loaf pan.

Don't Make this Mistake
By its very definition, babka is a rich, tender dough. But go too far in that direction and the dough
will collapse under the weight of the cinnamon-sugar filling, leaving large holes in the bread. To add
richness yet preserve the loaf's structural integrity, we cut back on butter and substituted 2 egg yolks
for a whole egg. If it's too rich, babka will resemble Swiss cheese.

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