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Thanksgiving Babka

Thanksgiving Babka 12.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nov 20, 2013

It took a once-in-a-lifetime convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to prompt kosher baker Paula Shoyer to create this sweet-tart loaf. Leftovers make great French toast. Or just toast slices by themselves.

You'll need an 11- or 12-inch loaf pan; we found one at Ikea and some disposable aluminum ones at party supply stores.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to rest a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes. The filling can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The babka can be covered at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.


Servings:
12 - 15

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12-15

Ingredients
  • For the dough
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon warm water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 envelopes) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) dairy-free margarine, at a cool room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg plus one white (reserve 1 yolk for brushing, covered, in the refrigerator)
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated zest and 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1/2 large orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) margarine, at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

Directions

For the dough: Combine the 1/4 cup of warm water, the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, until it bubbles and thickens.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, the flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, margarine, oil, eggs and egg white. Beat on low speed until well incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap, place it near or on a warm stove top and let it rise for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the cranberry juice, sugar and the fresh and dried cranberries in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture bubbles and the fresh cranberries start to pop. All of the sugar might not dissolve; that’s okay. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Stir in the apricot preserves, orange zest, fresh orange juice and allspice. Scoop the filling into a bowl and let it cool, uncovered, until ready to use.

While the cranberries are cooking, combine the margarine and light brown sugar in a medium bowl and beat until creamy. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 11- or 12-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle a little flour on a large sheet of parchment paper.

Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece of dough into a 12-by-14-inch rectangle so that the longer side is facing you. Lift the dough a few times to facilitate rolling, and sprinkle additional flour if the rolling pin sticks to the dough.

Spread half of the margarine-sugar mixture all the way to the edges. Scoop up half of the cranberry filling and dump it onto the dough. Use a flexible spatula to spread the cranberry filling all over the sugar filling. Fold the right and left sides 1 inch in toward the center, then roll up tightly from bottom to top. Repeat for the second piece of dough.

When you have 2 rolls, twist them around each other, trying to keep the seams on the bottom. Tuck the ends of the dough underneath, then transfer the twisted dough to the loaf plan. Combine the reserved egg yolk with the remaining teaspoon of water and brush the top of the dough with the mixture. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until browned.

Let the babka rest for 15 minutes before serving, or cool completely before storing.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Paula Shoyer.

Tested by Paula Shoyer and Becky Krystal.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

Avg. Rating (9)

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 15): 300


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 13g 20%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 30mg 10%

Sodium: 120mg 5%

Total Carbohydrates: 42g 14%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 24g

Protein: 4g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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