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Cookie Butter Walnut Babka

Cookie Butter & Walnut Babka

A unique twist on a traditional Polish Babka. Cookie Butter, walnuts and a hint of cinnamon are a perfect filling that is rich and sweet and stunning.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Polish
Author Lisa

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 1 to 1¼ cups lukewarm water 110F
  • 2 large eggs
  • cups All-Purpose Flour
  • cup Nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • teaspoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature*
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • *Reduce the salt to 2¼ teaspoons if you use salted butter.

FILLING

  • 1 container Biscoff Cookie Butter divided in half
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts toasted if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (sea salt or kosher)

GLAZE

  • 1 large egg beaten

TOPPING

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • cup confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup All-Purpose Flour

OPTIONAL

  • Biscoff Cookie Butter for smearing
  • Salted butter for smearing

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients (starting with the lesser amount of water), mixing until everything is moistened. Add additional water if needed to allow the dough to come together.
  2. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Then mix/knead until it's soft and smooth.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and cover. Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for about 1½ to 2 hours, until nice and puffy. *see Notes
  4. Gently deflate the dough by giving it a gentle squeeze and divide it in half. Set the pieces aside, covered, while you make the filling.
  5. To toast the walnuts: toss in a pan over medium heat and stir or toss until you can just smell them. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sea salt. If they get too dark, they taste bitter. Not good eats.

  6. Shape each half of the dough into a 9" x 18", ¼"-thick rectangle. If the dough "fights back," let it rest for 10 minutes, then stretch it some more. Don't be fussy about size; 19" or 20" is as good as 18".
  7. Smear each piece of the dough with half of the Biscoff, coming to within an inch of the edges.

  8. Starting with a short end, roll each piece gently into a log, pinching to seal the seam and ends. Working with one log at a time, use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut the log in half lengthwise (not crosswise) to make two pieces of dough about 10" long each; cut carefully, to prevent too much filling from spilling out. With the exposed filling side up, twist the two pieces into a braid (not really a braid, but more of a twist), tucking the ends underneath. Repeat with the other log. Place each log into a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  9. Brush each loaf with the egg glaze. Mix together the topping ingredients until crumbly, and sprinkle half the topping over each loaf.
  10. Tent each pan with plastic wrap, and let the loaves rise until they're very puffy and have crowned a good inch over the rim of the pan, 1½ to 2½ hours.
  11. Preheat your oven to 300°F toward the end of the rise time. (if using oven to proof, take breads out before you preheat!)
  12. Bake the bread for 35 minutes. Tent lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes (for a total of 50 to 60 minutes); the loaves should be a rich-golden brown.
  13. The bread is perfectly baked when it registers at least 190°F on an instant read thermometer.
  14. Remove the loaves from the oven, and immediately loosen the edges with a spatula or table knife. Let the loaves cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out of the pans onto a rack to cool completely.
  15. Slice the babka and serve it at room temperature; or rewarm individual slices briefly in a toaster oven with a little bit of butter and/or additional Biscoff Cookie Butter, if desired. There won't be any leftovers, but if there are just store, well wrapped, at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.

Recipe Notes

*Turn the light on in your oven and place dough in to rise. The light gives enough warmth and it's draft free.