These tips will help you make a great babka every time!
Babka is a cake-life braided bread originating from Eastern Europe. It's typically filled with chocolate or cinnamon, but I use any fruit jam for this recipe!
Use bread flour to make your babka. Bread flour has a high gluten and protein content, which makes the babka fluffy, soft, and chewy.
Add pats of butter one at a time and mix until incorporated. Softened butter will incorporate better and not make the dough greasy.
Brioche dough is highly enriched, so it takes a while to mix. Mix the dough until it passes the windowpane test and light can pass through without tearing.
Chilling the dough will do a couple of things: The cold proof will make shaping easier and it will help develop more flavor.
Fill with any filling of your choice! Chocolate and cinnamon are the most popular fillings, but other great options are fruit jams, preserves, or other sweet spreads.
Braiding a babka can be a little messy. Freeze the dough for 15 minutes before braiding to reduce the filling from leaking!
Proof the babka in a warm location until it's doubled in size and feels poofy. Because of the enriched dough, babka can be a little sluggish, so be patient.
If your babka is getting too brown as it bakes, top it with some aluminum foil to prevent any burning.
While the babka is hot, brush the syrup onto it for a beautiful glaze! The simple syrup will lock in the moisture and will make the babka shiny!