November 20, 2017

Nutella Babka - #TheCakeSliceBakers

If we are what we eat, I am awfully sweet and would not have it any other way.

It is #CakeSliceBakers time, and we are back with our November cake from World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey.  This will actually be the last cake we bake from this particular book.  Stay tuned as we will be announcing soon which cake book we have chosen and will bake through in 2018! If you are interested in baking along with The Cake Slice Baker's next year please send me an email - thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com.

A little background on the #CakeSliceBakers ~ each month the Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the book and we each choose one cake to bake. On the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important one is to have fun (and enjoy baking & eating cakes!). The choices this month were Mark Hix’s Oyster Ale Cake, Kouign Aman, Panforte di Siena, and Chocolate Cinnamon Babka. So many good choices and so little time - I wanted to bake them all!  I finally settled on the babka, but Kouign Aman I am coming for you soon.......

I used to be kind of scared to work with yeast. It seemed so complicated and way above my skill level.  Perseverance and a few good friends with mad bread-baking skills gave me the encouragement I needed and now it is a joy to work with yeast dough.  There is just something magical about the feel of the dough in your hands. This babka is the perfect example. A babka is a celebratory bread and is typically baked at Easter, but is great at any celebration throughout the year.  The word "babka" is a diminutive form of "baba", which means grandmother in Polish. Traditionally it is baked in a fluted tube which was meant to imitate the skirts of Polish grandmothers, and it was only baked by women.

The original recipe called for chocolate and cinnamon, but I decided to fill my dough with Nutella.  As always, I make sure I measure out all of my ingredients before I start, and once done this dough is very easy to put together.  Heating the Nutella in the microwave will make it way easier to spread it on the dough, but make sure you leave about a 2.5cm (1-inch) border all around the edges so that it does not leak out of the sides when you roll it up. When you get to cutting it in two it is a little messy, but this is all part of the fun of creating the intertwined design. I divided the dough in two pieces so that I could make two loaves, although you could follow the original recipe and make one large loaf by placing it in a bundt pan.

This bread is so good.  We loved it warm from the oven while the filling is all gooey, but it is still great once it has cooled down too. You could dust it with powdered sugar, as called for in the original recipe, but I did not want to cover the beautiful braid.  I can't wait to make it again, and wither can my family.

Please scroll down after the recipe to see all the beautiful cakes that were baked this month, and don't forget to check out our Facebook page. Also, if you are interested in joining the #TheCakeSliceBakers, please send me an email at thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com, and I will send you more information.

Nutella Babka
Printer Friendly Recipe

  • 14g (½ oz) instant yeast
  • 170ml (¾ cup) milk, warmed
  • 85g (⅓ cup) butter, softened
  • 100g (½ cup) sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 420g (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 5g (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 200g (¾ cup) Nutella, slightly warmed

  1. Spray two loaf pans with baking spray and line with parchment.
  2. Add the yeast to the warm milk and whisk lightly; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well.
  5. Add vanilla and mix well.
  6. Add the flour and salt, and mix until combined.
  7. Switch to the dough hook and add the yeast mixture, mix to form a soft dough.
  8. Knead the dough in the mixer for 5 minutes.
  9. Grease a large bowl, add dough, and cover with plastic wrap.  Leave in a warm place for one hour, or until double in size.
  10. Divide dough in half and roll it out on a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle measuring 16×14 inches (40×35 cm). 
  11. Place the dough so that the long side is closest to you, and using an offset spatula, spread half of the Nutella spread over the rectangle, leaving a 1cm (½-inch) border all around. 
  12. Use both hands to roll up the rectangle like a roulade, starting from the long side closest to you and ending at the other side.
  13. Press lightly to seal the end of the roulade, then use both hands to even out the roll into a perfect thick cigar. 
  14. Place it seam side down, and using a serrated knife, gently cut the roll in half lengthwise, starting at the top and finishing at the seam so that you have two complete pieces - it will be messy.
  15. Take those two pieces and pinch two ends together, then twist the pieces around each other two or three times, pinching the other two ends together.
  16. Repeat using the remaining dough and Nutella to create the second loaf.
  17. Place the braids, cut side up, into the loaf pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours.
  18. Preheat oven to 180℃ (350℉), making sure to allow plenty of time for it to heat fully before the loaves have finished rising.
  19. Remove plastic wrap and place the pans on the middle rack of oven.
  20. Reduce heat to 170℃ (340℉) and bake for 35-40 minutes.

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  1. Hi Felice
    your babka looks fantastic and delicious.
    Yammy I wish to got a slice for myself!!!

  2. Great idea with the nutella, and am waiting to see your Kouign Aman!


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