Cinnamon Pecan Babka
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour*
- 3 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/4 cup water lukewarm
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, soft
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) nearly melted unsalted butter
- 3 cups pecan pieces
- 2/3 cup Cinnamon Sugar (linked recipe makes 1/2 cup, adjust as needed)
- *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Bring milk to a boil and set aside until it is at room temperature. Mix in eggs, vanilla, sugar, honey, and salt. Pour in a mixing bowl large enough to hold flour. Place flour on top.
- Combine yeast with lukewarm water and add paste to the bowl.
- Using a dough hook, mix dough until elastic and smooth, about 5-7 minutes on medium speed.
- Gradually add pieces of soft butter (1 stick) to dough allowing it to be fully incorporated before adding next amount.
- Cover bowl with plastic food wrap and set in a warm place (top of refrigerator) and allow dough to rise until doubled in volume, about 60-80 minutes.
- Line two loaf pans with parchment paper (it will adhere best to the pan if you rub some oil or butter onto pan first). Parchment paper ensures easy removal from pan.
- Remove dough from bowl. This will make dough collapse which is normal and is actually required. Cut dough into two equal pieces and press and roll dough into a rectangle about 10x8-inches.
- Spread an equal amount of remaining butter on each piece of dough. Sprinkle each dough piece with 1/3 cup cinnamon sugar. Scatter pecans evenly onto each dough. Roll each piece into a cylinder starting the roll with 8-inch side.
- Cut cylinder lengthwise in half. The cylinder will appear as it is falling apart. No reason to panic! Twist the two halves into a braid and place into prepared pan.
- Place in a warm area and allow to rise until 50-75% larger (not doubled), about 60 minutes. Meanwhile turn on oven to 350°F.
- Carefully brush loaves with beaten egg and place in oven.
- Bake for 53 minutes, the loaves will get dark, after 35 minutes place a buttered sheet of aluminum foil on bread during baking.
- Allow to cool in pans for 20 minutes and then remove bread.