This post is also available in: Italiano
Apple babka with cinnamon and a touch of cardamom powder, to brighten your mornings!
There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been! – P.B. Shelley
While I’m writing this post, a crispy air hits my exposed ankles. If I look out of my living room’s window, I can see trees with both green and brownish leaves, they’re about to fall. Yesterday I went for a walk, here in the small town where my boyfriend lives (we will move in a few days though), and a lively breeze was stirring the already-fallen leaves on the ground. It was magical. I felt like I was in this scene of Mary Poppins.
It’s so fascinating how the word Fall perfectly matches the season’s mood.
Oh, you guys, let’s welcome the very first Fall recipe…
Fall and comfort food…
Fall and crispy weather call for comfort food. My favorite activity during this season is…baking – duh – and as the temperature drops, I can’t help making all sorts of ‘lievitati’ (in Italian. Singular, ‘lievitato’). I’ve spent the last ten minutes looking for a translation of this word, ‘lievitato’, but I can’t find it. Anyway, it refers to all those leavened pastries like brioche, panettone etc.
I’ve always loved baking, if you follow me you already know that. When I say always, I mean ALWAYS, since I was a little kid. At the time, if I didn’t know what to do on Sunday afternoon, I asked my mother if I could bake something.
I think (no, I’m sure) I’ve inherited this passion from my mother. She loves baking and one of her favorite recipes is ‘fugassa’, a typical venetian Easter cake, very similar to Easter Dove.
I love leavened pastries mainly for one reason: they teach you patience.
Apple babka, delicious and spectacular…
Ohhhh, let me describe this amazing and super soft apple babka. The dough’s recipe is very similar to the one I’ve used to make brioche col tuppo (here). I’ve only changed a couple of ingredients: I’ve switched white sugar with brown sugar (slightly more wet) and I didn’t use orange zest to flavor the dough.
Everything else is the same, because I wanted to make sure of its fluffiness. And guys, it’s SO FLUFFY.
Regarding the filling, it’s extremely simple: apples, cinnamon, a pinch of cardamom and a teeny tiny sugar to sweeten. Let them soften into a pan, blend and your filling is ready.
The softest apple babka ever.
- 265 gr Bread flour (please add some flour if the dough is too runny)
- 35 gr Brown sugar
- 32 gr Oil
- one tablespoon Water
- 1 Egg at room temperature
- 12 gr Fresh yeast or 4 gr of dried yeast
- 6 gr Salt
- 87 gr Milk
- 1 teaspoon Honey
- Milk to brush the top
To make the babka filling:
- 280 gr Peeled and sliced apples (they were 3 apples, in my case)
- 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
- a pinch Cardamom powder
- Almond slices
To make this apple babka I've used my bread machine. You can use a stand mixer.
Warm up the milk and combine it to yeast and honey (inside the machine you're using).
Activate the machine, add the egg and gradually start pouring the sifted flour.
Drizzle the oil + water and let them blend until fully absorbed.
Add the brown sugar and let knead for 10/15 minutes.
Also add the salt and let knead 2 minutes more (or until absorbed).
Let your dough rise - into a bowl, covered - in a warm place for a couple of hours or until doubled.
Meanwhile, to make the filling:
Peel and slice your apples.
In a pan, let them soften with a couple of tablespoons of water, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom.
When they're soft, purée them with a blender. Let the filling cool down.
To "build" the babka:
I've used a 30 cm (12 inches) long loaf tin so I rolled out the dough to be about 35 cm x 30. Work on a floured surface.
Spread your apple cinnamon filling all over the dough then start rolling it into a tight log.
When rolled, cut it lengthwise through the middle.
Now take one of the two pieces, fold over the top (so it crosses) and make a braid.
Place it into a greased loaf pan (or use parchment paper instead), brush some milk on top, add almond slices and let it rise for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven at 180° C. Bake it for 30 minutes or more (it has to be golden brown on the surface).