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  • Writer's pictureJust a Tad Salty


I have always dreaded making this bread. First, the recipe seems too tedious, especially for a busy person like me. Second, well, it looks daunting. Like, how did the swirls and twirls came about? How many ingredients to make just one bread?

After doing some reading, and two iterations to the recipe that follows, what we have here is an easier-to-follow and easier-to-do recipe. The end result is a truly, ridiculously delicious tasting babka.




145g levain (100% hydration)

175g bread flour

165g all-purpose flour

113g unsalted butter, diced at room temperature

110g milk, cold

30g baker’s sugar

9g salt

2 eggs


2 to 2 ½ cups chopped pecans

1 cup butter, softened or melted

1 ¾ cups brown sugar, packed

3 teaspoons cinnamon powder

Pinch of cardamom


¼ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

½ teaspoon rose water



Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except for butter.

Using a stand mixture with a dough hook, mix ingredients at low speed for 5 to 7 minutes.


Scrape the sides of the bowl to gather dough mixture and let rest for 5 minutes.

Add butter, one dice at a time. Make sure dice of butter is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next dice. Use medium speed. This will take at least 5 minutes. Mixture should be slapping the sides of the bowl at this time.

Once all the butter is incorporated into the dough, let the dough rest for another 5 minutes.

Dough should be smooth, but still a little tacky at this point.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and gather the dough and transfer onto an oil-greased bowl.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Stretch and fold the dough twice, every 30 minutes after the first rest, as above.

Cover the bowl for bulk fermentation at room temperature for at least 2 hours (place in a warm place), then do cold fermentation overnight in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

In the morning, when you are ready to bake the dough, make your filling. Once ready with the filling, take the dough out of the fridge.

On a well-floured counter, roll the dough into a rectangular shape about ¼ inch thick.

Spread the filling, leaving an inch off the edges filling-free.

Roll the dough into a log. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make your egg wash.

Once log is ready, on a well-floured counter, cut the dough at the center in half, lengthwise.

Braid the dough, sealing end edges.

Transfer the dough to a Pullman loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure to allow for some parchment paper to hang onto the sides of the pan. This will make it easier for you to pull out the bread once fully baked.

Brush the top of the dough with egg wash.

Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until stick comes out clean when poked into center of the dough.

Make your syrup.

Take the bread out of the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

Brush the top of the bread with syrup. Let rest for another 5 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.


Mix all ingredients together, making sure to have a spreadable consistency.


In a small saucepan, mix water and sugar. Make sure sugar is fully dissolved.

Turn heat to low to medium and stir mixture consistently until a slow boil is achieved.

Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Turn off heat.

Add rose water and stir.

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