Cinnamon bun babka
Cinnamon bun babkaSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
This is a mash-up between a cinnamon bun and a traditional chocolate babka, with a spiced, fudgy date spread to beef up the ripples. The dough is best made in a stand mixer, but if you haven’t got one just prepare to get sticky and do a bit more kneading!
For the brioche dough
- 85g unsalted butter
- 85ml milk
- 285g strong white flour; extra to dust
- 3 tsp fast action dried yeast
- 50g caster sugar
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
For the filling
- 75g soft salted butter
- 125g Medjool dates, stoned and chopped
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 50g soft light brown sugar
For the topping
- 20g golden caster sugar
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 25g butter, melted
- For the dough, melt the butter in a small saucepan then remove from the heat and add the milk (weighed as 85g for accuracy) and cool until it feels barely warm.
- Fit a stand mixer with a dough hook; add the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the egg and the buttery milk and mix to a very soft dough on a low speed. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it forms a clean ball with no sticky residue on the sides of the bowl, although the dough will still be sticky to touch. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to prove for at least 2-3 hours until it has grown in size by at least half again; as it’s enriched, it won’t rise as much as a regular dough.
- Punch the dough down to knock the air out, then cover and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours until firm.
- For the filling simply put all the ingredients into a small food processor and whiz to a fudge-like paste. Leave at room temperature. Line a 900g loaf tin (about 20cm x 9cm on the base) with baking paper, leaving some overhang to help you lift out the loaf at the end.
- Lightly dust your surface with flour, then roll out the chilled dough to a 35cm square. It should be only 2-3mm thick. The date paste will be quite thick and sticky; spread it over the dough leaving a 2cm border all round the edge. Roll up tightly from one side, trim the ends and cut the log in half lengthways. Twist the two pieces in a spiral, with the cut-sides uppermost. Lift carefully into the prepared tin. Cover with a damp tea towel and prove for another 2-3 hours at warm-ish room temperature or until the dough no longer feels cold and firm; it should be slightly risen and feel soft and pillowy.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Bake the babka loaf for 30-35 minutes until brown on top. Remove from the oven and mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Brush the top of the loaf all over with the melted butter, then sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar. Cool fully before cutting – it’s best eaten freshly baked, but is also great toasted over the next few days, too.