This week was something I’ve done quite a bit in the past (though not from scratch – at work, the dough came in pre-formed, and I just had to spread the filling), but not recently. Many of the recipes I found called for various fruits and/or nuts, but to be honest, the first time I’d ever made homemade babka had been a cinnamon and cream cheese one.
I couldn’t actually find the recipe I’d used way back when, so I simply modified this one. I left out the apricot filling, and as you can see in the photos, I decided against the usual “loaf” style. Instead, the dough was cut in half, braided, and twisted into a circle. Also, I used ceylon cinnamon instead of the usual. A bit more expensive, but it’s a much more subtle flavor, in my opinion.
The finished product was fairly similar to how I remember it being before. The cream cheese/cinnamon had baked into the dough, leaving it with a sweet, buttery flavor, and only a very light cinnamon taste. The main thing I’d recommend to anyone wanting to try this, is to make the dough the previous night or evening. It’ll keep well enough in a greased bowl with plastic wrap on top, and given the amount of rising time, it’ll end up being much less trouble if it’s simply brought out to rise early on in the day, rather than being made early in the day.