Homemade Spelt Nutella Babka (adaptable)

 

 

 

 

 

This homemade spelt Nutella babka originally appeared on my first blog, The Culinary Jumble. The recipe was amended to include spelt flour and the content of the post updated.

Soft, mildly sweet cinnamon infused bread with rich, velvety Nutella. What a comboAs always, I try to make my recipes as inclusive as possible, and this one is no exception. You can prepare the dough in a bread machine or stand mixer, and use either spelt flour or regular. 

 

 

What is a babka?

Babka is a brioche-type bread, which includes eggs and butter, giving it a rich, luxurious taste. Served as both breakfast and dessert, it is very hard to classify babka. But who really needs to do that?

Originating in Eastern Europe in the early 19th century, babka was a way to use up any leftover challah bread dough. Assorted fillings, such as jam and cinnamon, are spread over the dough and then rolled up. The secret of babka was kept pretty hidden within the nestles of mainly Poland and Ukraine until the 50s, when European-style bakeries in the US began offering it. 

 

 

Although babka has indeed moved with the times, now including Nutella and many other fillings, the basic dough ingredients and method have changed very little.

Other popular fillings include apple, nuts and dried fruit, but it seems that anything goes. As well as this spelt Nutella babka, I’ve also made a gorgeous raspberry babka, which features in my book, Baking with Spelt. 

 

If you love sweet bread as much as me, I am sure you will like these, too:

 

Swedish cinnamon buns

Cardamom bread

Chocolate cinnamon rolls

Blackberry finger buns

Sticky caramel buns

 

 

Homemade Nutella Babka

Ingredients

Dough (see note 1)

  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  • 50g (3½ tbs) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 400-450g (3⅓ - 3¾ cups) spelt flour (see note 2)
  • 7g (2 tsp) dried yeast (see note 3)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Additional Ingredients

  • Nutella (see note 4)
  • honey (to brush over warm bread)

Instructions

DOUGH

    Bread Machine:

    • Add the milk, butter, and egg to your bread machine pan. Then add 400g (3⅓ cups) of flour, and the remaining ingredients. Take care to keep the yeast and salt separate as much as possible. Set your machine to make dough.
    • On a very well-floured surface (the dough will be very sticky) work in just as much flour as you need to make a soft, pliable, but still a little tacky, dough.

    Stand Mixer:

    • Add the milk, butter, and egg to your stand mixer bowl, and give it a quick mix. If the butter is straight out of the fridge, it won't combine with the other wet ingredients too much, but that's okay.
    • Then add 450g (3¾ cups) of flour, and the remaining ingredients. The dough should be sticky, but if you need more flour, just add a little at a time. Be careful: too much flour will result in dry bread.
    • Switch to a dough hook (if you have one) and allow the mixer to knead the dough for around 10 minutes, just until soft. The dough will still feel a little tacky to the touch, but will be able to slowly drop off the hook.
    • Cover the dough and leave to proof (until it has doubled in size - usually about an hour).
    • When the dough is ready, knock it back, and on a floured surface, form into a rough ball.

    For both methods:

    • Pre-heat the oven to 185ºC (365ºF).
    • Either prepare two smaller baking tins (9" x 5" / 23cm x 12cm) or one larger tin (13" x 4" / 33cm x 12cm) by greasing and/or lining with baking paper.
    • If making two loaves, divide your dough into two (and repeat the following process for both).
    • Roll the dough until it is fairly thin, and you are left with a large rectangle. The dough will bounce back so you may need to roll several times.
    • Spread over as much Nutella as you like bearing in mind that the more there is, the trickier it is to handle. As you spread the Nutella out, leave around 1-2cm at the edges clear as this will make it easier to roll.
    • Starting from the side nearest to you, carefully roll the dough over and continue until you are left with a large roll. Finish off with the seam facing down.
    • Take a sharp knife or pizza cutter and cut right down the length of the roll so you are left with two pieces.
    • Take one piece and lay over the other bit making an X. Then, twist the two bits of dough around each other both at the top and bottom.
    • Tuck the bottoms under on both sides, pushing the dough a little so that it is a bit thicker, and not so stretched out.
    • Place the dough in your prepared pan(s), cover with a tea-towel, and leave for around 30 minutes.
    • Bake for around 20 minutes until the bread is golden brown.
    • Leave to cool for around five minutes, then brush some honey over the top(s). Slice when the bread has cooled but still a little warm. Enjoy!

    Notes

     
    1. I have made the dough using both a stand mixer and bread machine with identical results. I have not made the dough by hand, but I see no reason why you couldn't do so! The dough is enough to make 2 smaller babkas (9" x 5" / 23cm x 12cm) or one large one (13" x 4" / 33cm x 12cm).
    2. You can use spelt or regular flour for this recipe (just use the same amount).
    3. In Sweden we have something called dried yeast. It is used both in warm liquid to proof and also added directly to flour. I am aware that the US has two options for dried yeast, and I believe dry active yeast is the most similar to our dried yeast.
    4. I didn't weigh out my Nutella - use as much as you need to get a good, even coverage.
     
    Disclaimer
    I have converted grams to cups/ounces/tablespoons using online converters. Although I have no reason to believe they are inaccurate, please be aware that I have not made the recipe with imperial measurements.
    In addition, many ingredients are different in Europe compared to North America (and the rest of the world). I do all I can to offer possible alternatives and to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone. However, results cannot always be guaranteed if you have not used the same ingredients, measurements or methods as me.
    Lastly, I do everything I can to ensure that my recipes (and instructions) are accurate and easy to follow. However, I am human, and don't always get it right. If you notice anything strange, a mistake, or even a typo, please let me know in the comments. 
    Homemade Spelt Nutella Babka (adaptable)Homemade Spelt Nutella Babka (adaptable)Homemade Spelt Nutella Babka (adaptable)


    Do you have a question or comment? I'd love to hear from you!