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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pumpkins Abound

Happy Thursday!'s pumpkin season. Like it or hate it, the facts are the facts. They are EVERYWHERE. It would go against my professional pastry principles NOT to mention this and celebrate it in some way. Personally, I love all things pumpkin (although I draw the line at pumpkin spice lattes...I don't drink my pumpkin calories on a lack of pumpkin). Recently I made a pumpkin spice babka, just because. (My husband is still confused as to why there are babkas in our freezer, but I just love an excuse to bake. I got an email with a recipe and I had to try. His office was pleased with the results I think.) At any's the recipe. It's easier than you think!

Pumpkin Spice Babka
Tasting Table

  • For the Dough:
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 115°
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup, plus 1 teaspoon, granulated sugar, divided
  • 5¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1 stick unsalted butter cubed and softened, plus more for greasing
For the Filling:
  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast and 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Let it sit until it begins to foam, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and cinnamon, and set aside.
  2. To the foamy yeast mixture, add the remaining granulated sugar, the brown sugar and 3 eggs, and whisk to combine. Slowly stir in the flour until a dough forms, then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, knead in the softened butter, a little at a time, until a smooth dough forms. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium bowl, stir the filling ingredients together until incorporated.
  4. Assemble the babkas: Preheat the oven to 350° and grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into 2 balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 ball of dough out into a 14-inch square, about ⅛-inch thick.
  5. Spread half of the filling evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch margin at the top of the square. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll the dough up tightly. Leaving ½-inch of dough connected, cut the roll lengthwise in two. Twist the strands together and pinch at the end to seal. Carefully place the babka in one of the prepared pans.
  6. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling. Cover both babkas loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm area until the dough expands to fill the pan, 45 minutes more.
  7. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg and liberally brush onto each babka. Bake, rotating halfway through, until golden and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes.
  8. Let cool slightly, then remove each bread from the pan and let cool before slicing and serving.

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