Cinnamon “Babkallah”

This “babkallah” (pronounced like you’re speaking Yiddish) has the hallmark woody, sweet warmth from the cinnamon with the comforting, familiar texture of challah between the swirls. Warmed up and topped with a small scoop of ice cream, it makes the perfect fall or winter treat. The recipe calls for 1/3 batch of my challah dough recipe, which you can find here. Oh, and by the way, DO NOT use blackstrap molasses, use regular molasses instead (I made this mistake so you don’t have to)!

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. First, make standard challah dough and take a third of that batch for this babkallah. Roll your challah dough out into a large rectangle.

In a small mixing bowl, add the cinnamon, sugar, molasses, date honey, and butter and mix thoroughly. Pour in a thick line over the center of the rolled out dough. Using a spatula, spread the cinnamon mixture evenly over the entire rectangle, leaving about a 1″ margin.

Roll the challah dough and stop about 2-3″ before you’re finished.

Instead of using the rolled part of the dough to roll the rest of the way, pinch the clean, plain challah dough on the end and lift it up and over the roll, lightly pinching it with the dough that it meets on the roll to secure it.

Place the rolled up dough onto a cookie sheet and put into the freezer for 20 minutes (this will make it easier to cut). Using a bench scraper or a knife, cut in the center of the dough along it’s entire length, halving the roll. Quickly turn the halves so that they are laying cut-side up.

Twist the two strands, keeping the cut-sides facing up the entire time.

Gently lift your babkallah and settle it down into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. If it browns too quickly, cover with foil.

Remove from the oven and make sure that the babkallah is cooked through. You’ll know it is when you gently try to tease braids apart (on the end or somewhere else inconspicuous)- there should be no evidence of doughiness, and the braids want to stay intact, almost like there are strands of gluten holding them together.

Mix the remaining sugar with the boiling water and mix until dissolved. Brush over the entire babka while it’s still hot. Let the babkallah cool for about 10-15 minutes, or until just warm. Remove from the loaf pan and put on a serving plate. Serve warm.

Cinnamon “Babkallah”

Becca Gallick-Mitchell
This warm, spiced "babkallah" has the indulgence of babka filling with the incomparably fluffy, stringy softness of challah. It's perfect for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or as an indulgent snack on a brisk autumn day.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Freezing, Resting, and Cooling Time 1 hr 35 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 1 loaf

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 3 Tbsp date syrup
  • 2 Tbsp ceylon cinnamon, ground
  • 8 Tbsp cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, half-melted
  • batch challah dough (AFTER proofing)
  • 3 Tbsp boiling water, for glaze

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. First, make standard challah dough and take a third of that batch for this babkallah. Roll your challah dough out into a large rectangle.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add the cinnamon, 5 Tbsp sugar, molasses, date honey, and butter and mix thoroughly. Pour in a thick line over the center of the rolled out dough. Using a spatula, spread the cinnamon mixture evenly over the entire rectangle, leaving about a 1" margin.
  • Roll the challah dough and stop about 2-3" before you're finished.
  • Instead of using the rolled part of the dough to roll the rest of the way, pinch the clean, plain challah dough on the end and lift it up and over the roll, lightly pinching it with the dough that it meets on the roll to secure it.
  • Place the rolled up dough onto a cookie sheet and put into the freezer for 20 minutes (this will make it easier to cut).
  • Using a bench scraper or a knife, cut in the center of the dough along it's entire length, halving the roll. Quickly turn the halves so that they are laying cut-side up.
  • Twist the two strands, keeping the cut-sides facing up the entire time.
  • Gently lift your babkallah and settle it down into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. If it browns too quickly, cover with foil.
  • Remove from the oven and make sure that the babkallah is cooked through. You'll know it is when you gently try to tease braids apart (on the end or somewhere else inconspicuous)- there should be no evidence of doughiness, and the braids want to stay intact, almost like there are strands of gluten holding them together.
  • Mix the remaining sugar with the boiling water and mix until dissolved. Brush over the entire babka while it's still hot. Let the babkallah cool for about 10-15 minutes, or until just warm. Remove from the loaf pan and put on a serving plate. Serve warm.
Keyword Babkah, Babkallah, Challah, Cinnamon Babkah, Cinnamon Babkallah, Cinnamon Challah, Jewish, Jewish Cooking, Jewish Food, Jewish Recipes

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