Apple Pie Babka
- 3 cups (360g) all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (14g) dry milk
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons (8g) salt
- 113g to 149g water lukewarm
- 1 large egg
- 5 tablespoons (71g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon boiled cider
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (106g) light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon apple pie spice
- 1 tablespoon Instant ClearJel
- 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon boiled cider
- ¾ cup (85g) apples grated (I used 150g of Gala apple)
- ½ cup (57g) diced pecans or walnuts toasted
- 1 large egg beaten with a pinch of salt (egg wash)
- coarse sparkling sugar
- To make the dough: Stir together the dough ingredients, starting with the lesser amount of water; mix until combined, adding more water if the dough feels dry. (I used 116ml of water.)
- Cover the bowl and let rest for 20 minutes. Then mix and knead until it’s soft and smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover, and let rise for about 1½ to 2 hours, until puffy. (I let mine rise for 2 hours, 5 minutes.)
- To make the filling: While the dough is rising, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and ClearJel. Stir in the butter, boiled cider, and apples.
- To shape the loaf: On a lightly floured sheet of parchment, roll the dough out to a 11” x 17” rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1” border bare on all sides. Scatter the nuts evenly over the filling.
- Starting with a short end, roll the dough gently into a log, then pinch the seam and ends to seal.
- Cut the dough in half lengthwise. Keep the cut sides facing up while you twist the two pieces together, then tuck the ends underneath. Place the loaf in a greased tea loaf pan or a 9” x 5” pan.
- Cover and let rise until the loaf is 1” above the rim of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. (I let mine rise for 1 hour, 45 minutes.)
- Toward the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F. When ready to bake, uncover, brush lightly with the egg wash, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
- Bake the tea loaf for 40 to 50 minutes or for a 9” x 5” pan, bake for 50 to 60 minutes, tenting with foil for the final 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. (I baked mine on rack 2 in the tea loaf pan for 51 minutes. Then I left it in the pan a little too long after it came out of the oven. Next time I will try baking 5 minutes less (checking internal temperature) and also remove from the pan after 10 minutes, as suggested.)
8/27/2022: This turned out quite well. The shaping isn’t as hard as it seems and is quite forgiving, although next time I will twist it on a parchment sling that I can use to move it into and out of the tea loaf pan. We increased the apples to 150g, which was just fine.