Apple Pie Babka

Ingredients

Dough

  • 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

Filling

  • 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

Topping

  • 1 large egg beaten with a pinch of salt (egg wash)
  • coarse sparkling sugar

Instructions

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.)
  3. To make the filling: While the dough is rising, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and ClearJel. Stir in the butter, boiled cider, and apples.
  4. 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.
  5. Starting with a short end, roll the dough gently into a log, then pinch the seam and ends to seal.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.)

Notes

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.