Cinnamon Babka: A simple twisted yeast bread with a cinnamon sugar filling and topped with cinnamon streusel. This loaf of bread tastes like a big cinnamon bun!
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Cinnamon Streusel Babka

A simple twisted yeast bread with a cinnamon sugar filling and topped with cinnamon streusel. This loaf of bread tastes like a big cinnamon bun!
Prep Time3 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time42 mins
Total Time4 hrs 12 mins
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: freshaprilflours.com

Ingredients

BREAD

  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast or 1 packet
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm milk I prefer whole milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature (reserve both whites, each in a separate bowl)
  • 4 cups bread flour*

CINNAMON FILLING

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 reserved egg white
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and allowed to cool

STREUSEL TOPPING

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces

EGG WASH

  • 1 reserved egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Instructions

BREAD

  • Sprinkle yeast over warm water. The best way to test the temperature of your water is to take it from the tap and run your wrist in the stream. If you can’t feel the temperature of the water, it’s perfect. Stir yeast in with a fork until it is dissolved and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) with a wooden spoon, blend the milk, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Stir in the butter, 2 egg yolks, and yeast mixture.
  • Gradually stir in flour. If using a stand mixer, use your dough hook. If mixing by hand, continue to use a wooden spoon. Add bread flour until your dough is soft enough to handle, usually when it can easily pull away from the sides of your bowl.
  • Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. You may need to add the last cup or so of bread flour by hand. Your dough should feel like PlayDoh to the touch and “snap” when you pull it apart.
  • Place in a warm, greased bowl, turning the dough to coat the top. Cover with a towel and allow to double in size, about 2 hours.
  • After dough has doubled, punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface, then make the cinnamon filling.

CINNAMON FILLING

  • In a medium size bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Add one reserved egg white and the butter and stir until everything is combined.

ASSEMBLE THE DOUGH

  • Spray a loaf pan generously with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • Roll out the dough to a 14" by 18" rectangle. Using a spatula, spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving about a 1" border around the edges.
  • Working from the long side, roll the dough into a tight log. Gently roll the log back and forth until it is about 20" long. Twist the dough into a figure 8 and pinch the ends together to seal the loaf.
  • Transfer the loaf to prepared pan. Cover with a towel and allow to rest and rise again for 1 hour.
  • When you are ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 350ºF and make the streusel topping.

STREUSEL TOPPING

  • Place flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter into a small bowl.
  • Using a fork, press ingredients together until butter is in small chunks. Use your fingers to pinch pieces together until streusel is mostly small crumbles. Some large crumbles are ok.
  • Brush the loaf with the egg wash. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the loaf, being sure to get it into all of the crevices. There will be a lot of streusel, but use it all.
  • Bake the bread for 38-42 minutes. The loaf is done when it produces a hollow sound when you tap on it. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Loaf stays fresh covered at room temperature up to 4 days or in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Bread freezes well, up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Notes

*Though I prefer bread flour in this recipe, it is ok to use all-purpose. The measurement is the same.