Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Apple-Walnut Rosh Hashanah Babka







This gorgeous cake is a third iteration of a delicious yeast-apple-cinnamon cake. The recipe that inspired me initially is the Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread from King Arthur flour. That cake was inspired by a packaged Entenmann's Apple Twist found in supermarkets across America. King Arthur Flour recently uploaded the Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread, challenging bakers to bake and post photos of the cake. After baking and then modifying the recipe the result is the babka pictured above.  This year this babka, in another shape, was served as one of our Rosh Hashanah desserts. The one in the photo was brought to a friend's Yom Kippur break-fast.

Although this cake isn't particularly complicated to make, the dough is pretty soft and a bit sticky, so I'm advising that you get a bit of experience with a firmer, drier, yeast dough before moving onto this babka.

I find that babka dough benefits from a very cool slow rise in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. This might sound complicated, but actually helps you divide the project into two sessions which I find easier to schedule.

Equipment:
stand mixer
mixing bowls, spoons
measuring spoons, cups
silicone spatula
large bundt pan
flexible dough scraper

Ingredients:
Dough:
3 1/4 c all purpose flour
1/4 c almond flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp margarine, softened
1 tsp Lor Ann oil Buttery Sweet Dough bakery emulsion OR 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 c  almond milk , at room temperature (after mixing you may find it needs another Tbsp or two of liquid)

spray oil or 2-3 Tbsp oil for pan plus a bit of flour to prepare pan

Filling:
1 large apple, grated or finely diced
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 Tbsp intant clear jel (modified food starch)
pinch kosher salt
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup finely diced walnuts

Glaze:
1/3- 1/2 c honey
1/3 c finely diced walnuts

Procedure:
1. Measure the dough ingredients. Pour the almond milk into the mixing bowl, add the yeast, almond flour and less than a cup of flour. Mix at low speed for 1-2 minutes
2. Add the sugar, salt, margarine, flavoring, egg. Mix
3. Slowly add the remaining flour, mix at medium speed for 4-5 minutes. The dough will be very sticky. Scrape down the dough with a flexible scraper or silicone spatula. The dough will be loose. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 8- 12 hours.


immediately after mixing
after 8 hours of resting/chilling in the fridge




4. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl. 
     Generously grease and flour a bundt pan.


5. Using a flexible scraper or silicone spatula, push the dough onto a floured surface. Stretch and fold several times to improve stretchability. Flour the rolling pin and roll out to a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick, 18 x 24 inches. The dough is sticky, best to work quickly while it remains cold. Use the flexible scraper to help roll the dough. Do not worry if the roll has "wrinkles" in the dough. 















6. Slice cross-wise into slices, about 1 or 1.5 inches thick


7. Lay the slices, cross wise up in the pan. Layer like brick work (2nd layer pieces covering space between the aligned first layer pieces).

8. Proof in a warm, draft free place for about an hour. The cake will not quite double, the slices will be puffy.  
9. After 40 or 45 minutes of proofing, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 



10. Slip the cake into the oven turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. The top will be golden. You can also check the internal temperature (190 degrees).


11. Cool completely, using a thin spreader or spatula, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Place a plate over the cake and invert. If the cake does not come loose, try to work the sides slowly and invert again.


12. Warm the honey.  Brush the cake with warm honey and sprinkle with nuts.


13 Slice and serve or cover loosely. The cake will stay at room temperature for a couple of days, otherwise, cover and store in the refrigerator. This cake will serve 10- 12 people. 



Other babkas you may be interested in trying: Apricot-Cinnamon Babka  and   Chocolate Babka with variations including Lemon Babka