My searches for “ideal” babka recipes got accelerated when I embarked on my sourdough journey. I baked it many times experimenting with some techniques which resulted in different types of crumbs. The base of my recipe was challah bread from the book “Classic Sourdoughs” by Ed Wood and Jean Wood. I experimented with the amount of sugar, butter, and flour mix and now I am ready to share the result. There are three variants of filling, choose the one which appeals you the most or create your own.
200 gr active starter
50 gr honey
150 gr warm milk
100 gr soft unsalted butter
100 gr brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
400 gr white flour
100 gr whole wheat flour
8 -10 tbsp of nutella
20 gr pistachio helva
100 gr soft butter
50 gr cocoa
50 gr brown sugar
50 gr walnuts
Toblerone bar or any chocolate you like broken into pieces
1 beaten egg for brushing the bread
Before preparing the dough make sure that all of your ingredients are room temperature.
Pour milk and honey in a bowl and mix well. Add sugar, then stir in the eggs. Add the starter to the bowl and mix well. Start adding the flour a cup at a time until the dough is too stiff to mix by hand. Turn out onto a floured board and knead in the remaining flour until the dough is smooth and satiny. (the amount of flour might differ as the flours might absorb liquids differently, add flour gradually! and see what amount fits your dough better) Cover the bowl with a towel and leave it for two hours. Mix the butter with the salt and incorporate it into the dough one spoon at a time.
Proof the dough at room temperature (mine gets ready around 5 or 6 hours) until the dough doubles in size. Place the dough on the floured surface and with the help of hands pull it in the shape of rectangle. (You can divide the dough into two and get two small babkas or have one huge one)
Place the filling over the dough and roll it. Cut it into two pieces and twist them as in the picture. Place babkas in the bread tins Cover with a towel and leave it to rise (it takes around 2 hours when the temperature is more than 21C ). Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle some brown sugar over it. Bake in the preheated oven 375F (190C) around 45 mins or until it is ready depends on your oven.