An Eastern European yeasted cake with deep Jewish roots that you can find everywhere you look. Babka possibilities range from sweet to savoury, however, this modern recipe is a whole new take on this traditional cake. Serve this ooey-gooey treat warm and with plenty of napkins, and s'mores babka will quickly become your favourite cake!
- 1 Tbsp dry active yeast
- 1/3 cup + 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 4 1/2 cups unbleached all- purpose flour
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk (or almond milk)
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter (or margarine), melted
- 2 large eggs
For the filling:
- 1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
- 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
- 1/4 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
For the topping:
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- To make the dough: Place the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Add the lukewarm water and stir gently to mix. Set aside until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
- In a medium saucepan, scald the milk (bring almost to a boil, until milk is just simmering). Allow to sit for 1 minute to cool just slightly.
- With mixer on low, add the water-yeast mixture, milk, and melted butter. Add eggs one at a time.
- When the dough begins to come together, after 2 to 3 minutes, turn off mixer and scrape down the sides. Raise the speed to high and mix for another 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is shiny, elastic, and smooth. It may seem like a long time to mix, but the result is worth the wait. (You can also knead vigorously by hand for 10 minutes if you don’t have a stand mixer.)
- Place dough in a greased bowl with a damp towel on top. Allow to rise 1 to 2 hours.
- Prepare three 8 1/2- by- 4 1/2 greased loaf pans.
- To make the crumb topping: Place all ingredients in a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix until crumbs form.
- Cut the dough into three equal parts (use a food scale for precision). Roll out one part into a rectangle. Spread with one-third each of the chocolate hazelnut spread, then marshmallow fluff, and then sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs, and roll up along the shorter side.
- Once the dough is formed into a swirled log, cut it straight down the middle so the filling is exposed. Cut 1/2 inch off each end. Layer each cut piece on top of one another and twist. Place in a greased loaf pan.
- Repeat with the other two pieces of babka dough. Lightly drape a kitchen towel over the top of pans. Allow to rise another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F while the dough rises.
- Top with crumb topping. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a butter knife, loosen sides of the babka from the pan, and place on wire rack to cool.