I've been thinking about a granola butter babka for a while now, and it turned out even better than expected. The granola butter made a stellar, one-step filling on its own, but a sprinkling of brown sugar gave it the extra moisture that it needed to resemble the best cinnamon bun filling. Come to think of it, this filling would be perfect for cinnamon buns--stand by! In the meantime, enjoy this special treat at your holiday brunch with friends.
1 teaspoon instant yeast
½ cup water
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter
⅓ cup Hazel & Spice Granola Butter
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (4 oz) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
For the dough:
For the filling:
For the streusel:
For the dough: Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir with a spoon. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add egg, mixing with the dough hook until it comes together; this may take a couple minutes. With the mixer on low, add the butter, a spoonful at a time, mixing until it’s incorporated into the dough. Then, mix on medium speed for 10 minutes until dough is completely smooth; you’ll need to scrape the bowl down a few times. I usually found that after 10 minutes, the dough began to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it doesn’t, you can add 1 tablespoon extra flour to help this along.
Coat a large bowl with oil and place dough inside, cover with plastic and refrigerate. Leave in fridge for at least half a day, preferably overnight.
Assemble loaf: Coat a 9-by-4-inch (2 1/4 or 1kg) loaf pan with oil or butter, and line the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper. Take dough from fridge and roll out on a well-floured counter to about a 10-inch width (the side closest to you) and as long in length (away from you) as you can when rolling it thin, likely 10 to 12 inches.
Spread the granola butter evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Sprinkle with the brown sugar. Brush the end furthest away from you with water. Roll the dough up with the filling into a long, tight cigar. Seal the dampened end onto the log.
Gently cut the log in half lengthwise at the seam and lay the pieces next to each other on the counter, cut sides up. Pinch the top ends gently together. Lift one side over the next, forming a twist and trying to keep the cut sides facing out (because they’re pretty). Don’t worry if this step makes a mess, just transfer the twist as best as you can into the prepared loaf pan.
Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise another 1 to 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.
Make streusel: Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in cold butter with a fork or rub in with your fingers to create a crumbly texture. Store streusel in the refrigerator.
Bake and finish: Heat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove towel, sprinkle with streusel, and place loaf on the middle rack of your oven. Bake for 30 minutes, but there’s no harm in checking for doneness at 25 minutes. A skewer inserted into an underbaked babka will feel stretchy/rubbery inside and may come back with dough on it. When fully baked, you’ll feel almost no resistance. If you babka needs more time, put it back, 5 minutes at a time then re-test. If it browns too quickly, you can cover it with foil.