RECIPE ADAPTED FROM ‘MODERN JEWISH BAKER’
For the dough:
- 1 tablespoon (8.5 g) active dry yeast
- 65 g (1/3 cup) + ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 120 ml (½ cup) lukewarm water
- 560 g (4 ½ cups) plain flour
- 3 teaspoons vanilla sugar
- 120 ml (½ cup) soy milk
- 85 g (¾ cup) margarine, melted
- 2 eggs, beaten
For the filling:
- 120 ml (¾ cup) margarine, melted
- 300 g (1 ½ cups) sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
For the sugar syrup:
- 160 ml (2/3 cup) water
- 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla sugar
Make the dough:
Place the yeast and ½ teaspoon of Sugar in a small bowl with the lukewarm water, give it a stir and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and the vanilla sugar. Add the water yeast mixture, the milk and melted margarine, add beaten eggs in, mix together until you have a dough that sticks together. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead well for about 12-15 minutes until the dough is shiny, elastic and smooth.
Take your time, it pays off in the end!
Place dough in a greased bowl with a damp tea towel or cling film on top Allow to rise 1-2 hours.
Make the filling: Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Make the Syrup: Combine the water, sugar and vanilla sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a low boil until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool. The Syrup can be refrigerated for 3 days, and this makes enough for at least 2 batches (6 Babkas).
Put it all together:
Prepare three loaf tins, either grease them, or line them with baking paper.
Cut the risen dough into three equal parts. Roll out one portion into a large very thin rectangle. Spread with a third of the filling, and roll up along the shorter side.
Once dough is a log, cut it straight down the middle so the filling is exposed. Twist both pieces together and place in the loaf tine. Repeat with the other two portions of dough.
Drape the pans with a tea towel and allow to rise another 30 minutes.
Pre heat oven to 180 C.
Bake babkas for 20 minutes, pull out and brush with two layers of sugar syrup. Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes, as soon as the babkas come out brush again with 3 layers of syrup.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.