Babka is both beautiful and delicious so I was happy to find a new flavor to try out this month for our Bread Bakers challenge, hosted by Passion Kneaded. I found a very good flavor. Maybe too good. Oh my goodness, so yummy. I recommend making it only when company is coming, and thanking your lucky stars that it makes a nice, modest little loaf. It's like a pecan, sticky, cinnamon bun, with delusions of baklava, all rolled into a slightly less sticky, sliceable package. How's that for a mouthful? Delicious, that's what it is. Best served fresh and slightly warm, but it does reheat nicely.
Pecan Pie Babka
makes one loaf
260g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
35g granulated sugar
4g active dry yeast
2 large eggs
½ tsp salt
70g butter, softened (I use salted butter)
56g butter, room temp
39g maple syrup
105g packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
114g chopped pecans
*Sugar Syrup Glaze (make this right before the loaf is done baking)
37g granulated sugar
For the dough:
Combine 260g flour, sugar, and yeast in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the eggs and milk and mix until it comes together. With the mixer on low, add the salt then the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated into the dough.
Run the mixer on medium speed for about 10 minutes until the dough is completely smooth and elastic. Stop and scrape down the bowl a couple times during this process. The dough is soft and very rich, and should pull away from the sides of the bowl. If using all purpose flour an additional 2 tbsp (~17g) of flour may be needed if the dough is sticking to the sides.
Place the dough in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight. The dough will not double in size so don’t be alarmed to see little rise.
The next day remove the dough from the refrigerator and make the filling. Combine the butter, syrup, sugar, and cinnamon either by hand or with a mixer. Then fold in the nuts.
Grease at 9×4-in. bread pan and line the bottom and short sides with one long strip of parchment paper. (This will help immensely in getting the loaf out of the pan in one piece!)
Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface. Make a rectangle of about 10½ inches wide and 12½ inches long.
Spread the filling in an even layer over the dough, leaving a ½ inch border all around the outside. Brush one long edge with water. Roll the dough up into a log (like making cinnamon rolls). The roll should be tight enough so that there are no gaps between the layers but not so tight that the filling spills out.
Gently cut the log in half lengthwise so that the cut sides are facing up. Lay one piece on the top of the other to form a +. Working on either side of the cross, continue lifting and crossing the two pieces over each other twice more on each side, always ensuring that the cut sides are facing up. You should be left with a plump, twisted log with the filling layers facing up. The ends may be trimmed or tucked under slightly.
Gently place the babka into the bread pan and cover it with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap. Leave it to rise for 1½-2 hours at room temperature.
To bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove the tea towel and bake on the middle rack for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (The internal temperature should be around 190-205ºF) The middle should be fully baked, you may pull back a layer to see if there is raw dough showing if you do not have a thermometer to check the temp. If the top is fully browned, cover with foil until the center is fully baked.
*When the babka is almost done baking, make the simple syrup. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer just until the sugar dissolves (about 4 minutes), or microwave for 30-60 seconds and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool for a couple minutes. When the babka is fresh out of the oven, brush the simple syrup all over. Use all the syrup, don't worry, it will not make the loaf soggy.
Run a butter knife around the edge and let the loaf cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then carefully lift out with the parchment, to finish cooling on a rack before eating. Though it's usually advised to let bread cool fully, this one is best enjoyed while it’s still a little warm.
Adapted from Butternut Bakery
Be sure to check out the other beautiful babkas:
- Baby Babkas from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Chocolate and Pistachio Babka from Passion Kneaded
- Chutney and Paneer Babka from Magical Ingredients
- Cinnamon Blueberry Babka from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Nutella Babka Buns from Sneha's Recipe
- Peanut Butter Babka Buns from Food Lust People Love
- Pecan Pie Babka from A Messy Kitchen
- Savoury Babka with Sun-dried Tomato, Feta, and Coriander Chutney from Cook with Renu
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.