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Babka Coffee Cake With Various Fillings

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ready in: over 5 hrs
serves/makes:   1 loaf

recipe id: 7538

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Babka Dough

1 package active dry yeast
pinch sugar
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees F)
3 eggs
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing dough
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Almond Filling

1 can (8 ounce size) almond paste
1/4 cup ground blanched almonds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg

Cheese Babka Filling

1 1/2 cup dry cottage cheese or ricotta
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon sour cream or creme fraiche
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1 egg
1 lemon, grated zest only
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons currants, plumped in
2 tablespoons rum or cognac for 1/2 hour

Chocolate Babka Filling

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
3 tablespoons unsweetened powdered cocoa
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Sprinkle yeast and sugar over warm water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, almond, milk, eggs, and 1 cup flour. Beat until smooth with a whisk. Add yeast mixture. Beat 3 minutes, or until smooth. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time with a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and silky, about 5 minutes. Be certain dough remains soft. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to grease top, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients in a bowl, beat until smooth, and set aside. Gently deflate dough, turn out onto a lightly floured board, and roll or pat into a 10 x 12 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Spread with filling, leaving a 1/2 inch border all around dough.

Roll up jelly-roll fashion and pinch seams. Holding one end, twist dough about 6-8 times to make a rope. Form into a flat coil and place in a well-greased 10-12 cup kugelhof mold or tube pan (Note: Angelfood cake pan works well, as would a Bundt pan). Pinch ends together and adjust dough to lie evenly in pan, no more than two-thirds full. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until even with top of pan, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. There will be a hollow sound when tapped. Let stand 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer from baking pan to a rack to cool completely. Let stand 4 hours to overnight, wrapped in plastic, before slicing.

While cake is still warm, drizzle with powdered sugar glaze (1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 2-3 Tbs. Irish Cream Liqueur).

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Nutritional data has not been calculated yet.

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