This babka recipe is filled with a delicious layer of pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving dessert that everyone will love!
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp whole milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- For the dough, combine the flour (just the 2 cups), sugar, and yeast in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer.
- With the dough hook attachment, mix in eggs and 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp milk until it comes together (2-3 minutes).
- With the mixer on low, add the salt then the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until it’s fully incorporated into the dough.
- Run the mixer on medium speed for about 10 minutes until the dough is completely smooth. Stop and scrape down the bowl a couple times during this process. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is still too wet, add in the other 2 tablespoons of flour.
- Coat a large bowl with oil, place the dough inside, cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. The dough won’t double in size so don’t worry if it looks like yours hasn’t grown much.
- Before you take the dough out of the fridge, make your filling. Combine all of the ingredients (minus the nuts) either by hand or with a mixer. Fold in the nuts.
- Grease at 9×4 bread pan and line the bottom and short sides with one long strip of parchment paper.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out onto a well-floured surface. It should be 10.5-inches wide (the side closest to you) and 12.5-inches long (away from you). The extra half inch so you can cut off the sides to create perfect edges.
- Spread the filling in an even layer over the dough, leaving 1/2 inch all around the outside. Brush the end farthest away from you with water. Roll the dough up into a log (like making cinnamon rolls). You want to make sure the roll it tight enough so that there are no gaps between the layers but also not too tight to where the filling spills out.
- Gently cut the log through the middle lengthwise and lay one piece on the top of the other to form an X. Make sure the cut sides are facing up. Working on one side of the X, twist the two pieces together twice, still making sure the cut sides are facing up. Do the same to the other side of the X. You should be left with a fat twisted log with the pecan layers facing up.
- Place the babka into the bread pan and cover it with a damp tea towel. Leave it to rise for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.
- To bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the tea towel and bake on the middle rack for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. You can also peak into the layers to see if the middle is still raw. If it is, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the center is fully baked. If it browns too quickly, you can cover it with foil.
- When the babka is almost done baking, make the simple syrup. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer until the sugar dissolves (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat and let it cool for a couple minutes. When the babka is fresh from the oven, brush the simple syrup all over. Don’t skimp on this, make sure to use up every last drop.
- Let it cool half in the pan, and half on a cooling rack before eating. It’s best to eat while it’s still a little warm. Enjoy!
Keywords: babka, pecan pie babka, pecan babka