With that said, there will always be some hand -kneaded, homemade bread ready for you at the dinner table. If you have 6 hours free, that is. I love making bread by hand, touching the supple dough, slamming it on the counter again and again until the elasticity runs thoroughly through the emulsified pile of flour, eggs, fat, water, sugar, and yeast. The personal satisfaction you achieve from getting to call this dough and this particular loaf of bread, yours, is not to be felt elsewhere.

I also am not that greatest at utilizing Nutella, except as a spread for Babka. But who knows, I might try it in the future. Maybe in a croissant or cruffin or something laminated. So instead, I went with my go-to, a frangipane (almond flour, egg whites, butter) that included a truck of cinnamon in it. Oh yeah, I also added a bit of walnuts to the roll because it was lying and there and I found that the subtle taste of the walnut compliments cinnamon really well.  

Tips and Tricks:

  • You should be kneading the dough until it is at the window pane stage. That is, when a small part of the dough is lifted from the rest of the dough it should be able to stretch far without breaking. With hand kneading, this takes about 10 minutes with the correct ratio and arm muscle energy!!
  • Babka is rolled up width wise and split in half lengthwise. Measure accordingly.
  • I used a challah based bread for this babka, as I believe the butter to be a bit too overpowering.
  • 2 proofing stages are necessary. Please don't skip the first one! YAY! Let's get baking...

Ingredients:

  • 375g bread flour (All Purpose flour is ok, but your guns will have to work harder, yeah?)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8g instant yeast (not active dry)
  • 136g water, lukewarm
  • 35g honey
  • 40g egg
  • 56g vegetable oil
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tb butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 40g brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg, for egg wash

The "How-Tos":

  1. To make the dough: combine 1st 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
  2. Combine yeast and water. Pour into dry ingredients.
  3. Mix together honey and egg. Pour into the dough. Mix everything by hand until a rough dough ball comes together.
  4. Pour in oil to almost-formed dough ball. Knead until windowpane stage (10-15 minutes).
  5. Cover and let rest for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. To make the filling: combine almond flour, butter, egg whites, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  7. Deflate risen dough onto working surface. Roll out the dough (width wise, 11") to the length of your pan. You get what I mean? We're gonna be cutting lengthwise here. Spread on filling.
  8. To make the babka: Roll up your dough (short side) and cut length wise (vertically). It may be a mess, but try your best to transfer it into a lined baking pan (Mine was about 11" by 3").
  9. Let proof for another 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  10. Preheat your oven to 345 degrees F.
  11. Whisk the last egg, brush on egg wash.
  12. Bake for 40-43 minutes.

-Emily