Babka Muffins

Babka muffins — have you heard of ’em? I hadn’t!

They’re one of the many new tasty recipes I’ve been exposed to while at school.

Unlike “regular” muffins (the kind that Liz says are for “people who don’t have the nads to eat cake for breakfast”) these Babka buddies are leavened only slightly with baking powder and mostly with yeast.

That said, they’re still soft and cakey enough for you people would rather eat actual cake for breakfast. Ha!

Oh, but truly awesome thing about Babka muffins is that they’re seriously customizable, as-you-like-’em type muffins.

Do you wanna fill them with brown sugar, ginger, and diced apple? Do it!

How about melted butter with vanilla sugar and toasted almond slices? Ah-ye-ah.

Pumpkin puree with sweet cinnamon chips? That’s my Babka style!

Also (and this totally slipped my mind til now — I’ve been so busy lately!), the lovely Juanita recently nominated me for the “Versatile Blogger Award” — but, as flattered as I am, I just can’t fill the criteria to accept!

Not only do I not know 15 other blogs to nominate, but I just can’t do the “7 Random Things About Me” list — I typed out about five random things and then got all self-conscious and embarrassed about myself and deleted them all!

Yes. Seriously. I’m facepalming right now.

But anyways! Check out Juanita’s beautiful photos. She’s very talented and dedicated to her photography — I can’t even believe we’re the same age, since she’s about a million-billion times more mature than me.

Harr. Back to facepalming, muffins, and one important tip…

This recipe calls for 3 eggs all together — 2 & 1/2 eggs in the batter, and then 1/2 an egg for egg wash. To measure half an egg, just crack and whisk a whole egg, then scoop up 1 & 1/2 tablespoons for 1/2 an egg. Easy!

Babka Muffins

*adapted from my school recipe book

Ingredients

Babka Muffins

  • 4 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cups unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla/flavoured extract
  • 2 & 1/2 large eggs (+ 1/2 for egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest
  • spreadable filling of choice (jam, pumpkin puree, melted butter, etc.)
  • chopped filling of choice (nuts, fruit, chocolate chips, etc.)

Streusel Topping

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Directions

Sift the all-purpose flour, white sugar, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg/cinnamon together in a large bowl.

Drop in the cold chunks of butter and orange/lemon zest and cut the butter into the sifted dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs about the size of peas.

Store the crumbed mixture in the fridge.

Heat the milk (either over the stove or in the microwave) until it’s warm (but not hot!) to the touch. Dissolve the active dry yeast in the warm milk and wait until the yeast comes to life and foams up.

Measure and whisk 2 & 1/2 eggs.

Once the yeast is active and the eggs are measured, add the yeasted milk, whisked eggs, and extract to the coarse crumb mixture. Stir until the dough just comes together.

Push the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, then chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Once chilled, roll the dough out into a rectangle at least 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick on a well-floured surface — at this point the particular of the dimensions or the size of the rectangle aren’t really important, since you can roll and cut the dough to whatever size you like.

Spread a thin layer of filling over the surface of the dough, leaving a 2 cm (1 inch) edge bare on the long side of the rectangle. Sprinkle the spread filling with your choice of chopped nuts/fruits/whatever.

Brush egg wash over the bare edge of your dough rectangle, then tightly roll the dough up towards the egg washed edge.

Using a sharp knife, cut the filled cylinder of dough in 2 ~ 3 cm (1 ~ 1.5 inch) segments. Place the segments, swirl-side up, in a greased muffin tin.

Cover the muffin tin loosely in plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for the muffins to double in size, approximately 60 ~ 90 minutes.

In the meantime, make the streusel: simply sift the flour, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs (or use almond meal if you prefer) together, drizzle with melted butter, and incorporate everything together using a fork.

Cover the streusel and reserve in the fridge until needed.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Egg wash the tops of each risen muffin, sprinkle with streusel and bake for 30 ~ 35 minutes, or until the edges are well browned.

Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Okay, so I’m pretty worn out from my hectic life and this is a rather long recipe — hopefully all those instructions weren’t too convoluted or confusing.

Another tip: if at any point you want to “press pause” on the yeast rising process and come back to these muffins later, all you have to do is leave the dough, well wrapped, in the fridge (but not for longer than a day).

Babka muffins, as I mentioned before, are very flexible when it comes to fillings and how you bake them up — muffin-shaped is the way we them did in class, but there’s no reason why you can’t bake them side-by-side in a baking pan all cinnamon bun style. Yum!

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14 thoughts on “Babka Muffins

  1. mrmykie says:

    They look so good and lots of fun to make!! X

  2. Dishin with Daisy says:

    These look great! I love Babka! Where do you get the cinnamon chips?

  3. daisy says:

    Nice recipe! Thanks for sharing. I hadn’t heard of them either. Vanilla sugar and almonds really hit a nerve. That’s what I would want for breakfast, although I do have the ability to eat cakes, pies, brownies, etc. for breakfast.

    Where in California did you live? Did you move to Canada to go to school?

    • Christine says:

      I used to live in Orange Country — I went down there for school (regular post secondary) and to muck around when I was in my early 20s… Needless to say, it didn’t really work out. When I moved back to Vancouver (born and raised) I worked for a while then started my BA over (and actually finished this time).

  4. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    THESE LOOK SO AMAZING! I’m definitly bookmarking this page and making these soon. Even people ‘with nads’ would eat these for breakfast, and probably enjoy them better than cake, lol.

    • Christine says:

      I bet you could veganize these pretty easily, too — they basically bready bun things, only rolled-up in muffin form. Spread pureed pear and dill inside em, yes yes? 🙂

  5. thats actually like SO AWESOME!!
    i love how the muffins look on the inside!

  6. kaliesthoughts says:

    I want some…but I cant eat these can I? 😦

  7. I like the idea of customizable recipes! Of making recipes a template which you can tweak according to your tastes. And this kind of muffin is perfect for October–hearty and filling and full of all of those autumnal spices and ingredients. Absholutely yumzh! Especially with a cup of Earl Grey tea or something like that.

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