Sourdough Cinnamon Twist Bread: Babka Style
This is another of those recipes designed to take advantage of excess sourdough starter--in a great way! The sourdough bread recipe I'm posting is incredibly good--sweet, but not very, and laced with spicy-sweet cinnamon throughout. The crust is a bit crunchy, and the interior of the bread is soft, with a tight crumb. Eggs in the dough provide richness to the bread, which toasts up well for breakfasts through the week or for a teatime treat. I like the bread plain, as I think it's great on its own. Nonetheless, many people, I know, will want to slather it with butter for a special treat. Feel free, or you might try it with a little cream cheese, for even more richness. The bread is easy to make, but it looks impressive. It's best left to cool completely on the counter before you try to cut it. Cooling will result in easier slicing. Nonetheless, as I said, the bread looks impressive, and it also smells incredible fresh from the oven. Unfortunately for my photo efforts, my husband decided he needed a taste test and cut into the bread while it was still quite warm, which meant that the slices weren't too neat. No matter. The bread was and is good! Try it soon!
Sourdough Cinnamon Twist Babka Bread -- Makes 1 Loaf
1 - 1 1/2 cups of sourdough starter (I use a white whole-wheat based starter)
1/3 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cups of white whole-wheat flour
Mix all the ingredients listed above in a large bowl and cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap. Let the mixture sit for 1-5 hours. The longer it sits, the stronger the taste will be (plus you'll see some rising of the batter). Add to the dough with a spoon:
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
Gradually knead in about 1/2 cup more of all-purpose flour (how much depends on how much starter you used to begin the process and how wet your dough is). The dough should be only a little tacky, but avoid adding more than 1/2 cup of flour.
Sprinkle a little flour on a sheet of parchment paper, dump the dough onto the paper, and pat the dough out into a 12-inch (or so) square. Spritz the top of the square with a little vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle the top of the square, living about an inch uncovered on each side, with:
1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon (depending on how much you like cinnamon)
2 teaspoons of vanilla (drizzle on top of cinnamon-sugar mixture)
Roll up the square, enclosing the cinnamon inside, jelly-roll style. Twist the roll a few times, twirling the filling inside as you do so and tucking the ends of the loaf underneath. Put the dough into a greased loaf pan (9 x 5 inches), spritz the top with vegetable oil spray, and sprinkle the top of the loaf with:
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of sugar
Cover the loaf lightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it increases by about 1/3 in size (it may not crest the top of the pan, and that's fine). Bake the bread at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the middle registers 190-195 degrees. Cool the bread in the pan for a few minutes before removing it to cool completely before slicing.