Prepare yourself for layers upon layers of enriched, buttery dough filled with raspberry jam and pecans. This is a spring, Raspberry Pecan Babka, that you can add to your breakfast table, slice into, and cross your fingers it doesn’t disappear within the hour!
The Babka Twist
Once your babka dough has been mixed and sat in the fridge overnight, it’s time to form the dough. Here, we start dividing, rolling, and twisting the dough to form that characteristic swirl that babka is known for.
First off, flour your counter and roll out the dough until it is a rectangle of about 9″ by 15″. Spread your raspberry jam and pecans evenly over the dough. Roll up the rectangle so that the rolled log is 15 inches long. Once rolled, place in the freezer for ten minutes. This will help to cleanly cut through the babka and allow for easy twisting.
Once chilled, cut the log in half lengthwise with a serrated knife so that you have two 15″ pieces and the filling is exposed. Here’s a great video to give you an example of how the braiding process works.
(The braiding in the video begins at minute 5!)
Fold the two separate logs on top of each other keeping the sides up as you do so, creating a long twist of raspberry jam-filled dough! Place the twist in a greased loaf pan. Cover and place in a warm area for 1.5 hours until the dough has slightly risen and feels puffy.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake your babka for about 35-45 minutes until the top is a golden brown shade. Cool, slice, and enjoy!
Checking for Doneness with a Themometer
Sometimes it can be challenging to tell whether or not the interior of your babka, or yeast-raised bread of any kind for that matter is completely baked through the center. One way to make sure is to whip out your thermometer and assess the temperature of your bread. You want to aim for a temperature of about 190F to ensure that your bread is not over-baked and dry, while also ensuring that it is not under-baked. I personally use a Thermapen and have for YEARS. It’s my go-to thermometer since my days in pastry school! It is a bit pricey, so I’ve added another more affordable option below near the recipe card.
MAKING RASPBERRY SAUCE
Of course, you can certainly purchase a jar of raspberry jam and call it a day, fill those babka layers with ease! Another option is to make your own raspberry jam, which is actually a pretty simple process. Head on over to my Raspberry French Buttercream recipe to learn how to make a Raspberry Sauce that you can then spread over your babka dough.
Babka Filling Options
There are endless amounts of flavors that you can twist into babka dough. Perhaps some extra crunch with roughly chopped nuts, additional spices, matcha powder, or chocolate spreads – the world is yours! If you’re looking for another babka recipe, head over to my Hazelnut Tahini Babka recipe. You could even double the babka dough recipe detailed below and make one Chocolate Hazelnut Tahini Babka and one Raspberry Pecan version!
Helpful Equipment for making Babka
Raspberry Pecan Babka
- Stand Mixer
- Dough Hook
- Serrated Knife
- 9×5 Loaf Pan
- Cooling Rack
- Food Processor
- 1/4 cup (60 g) Whole Milk
- 1/2 package (3.5 g) Active Dry Yeast
- 2.5 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp (285 g) All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 5 Tbsp (70 g) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- oil for greasing bowls and pans
- 1 Cup (240 g) Raspberry Jam
- 1/2 Cup (55 g) Roughly Chopped Pecans
- In a small bowl combine the yeast, warm milk, and sugar together until the yeast has been activated and appears foamy (approximately 5 minutes)
- Using a kitchen aid bowl, hand whisk the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla to combine. Attach bowl to kitchen aid with the dough hook and add yeasted milk combination to combine.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly for a total of 3 minutes. If the dough is still sticking to the side of the bowl and quite wet, you may need to add an extra tablespoon of flour.
- Once the dough is not sticking to the side of the bowl anymore, it's time to add the softened butter in two separate parts. Add the first half of your butter and mix for five minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl, then add the last half of the butter and mix for an additional 6 minutes. As before, if the dough is still sticking to the side of the bowl is sticking, you may need to add an extra tablespoon of flour.
- Place the dough into a large clean bowl that is lightly coated in oil. Cover in plastic wrap and let is slowly rise for 1-2 hours. Then, degas the dough by lightly pressing with your hands and place in fridge overnight so that the flavor has plenty of time to develop.
- Flour your counter and roll out the dough until it is about 9" by 15" and spread your jam and sprinkle pecans evenly over the dough. Roll up the rectangle so that the rolled log is 15 inches long and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will help to cleanly cut through the babka and allow for easy twisting.
- Once chilled, cut log in half with a serrated knife so that you have two 15" pieces and the filling is exposed.
- Fold the two separate logs on top of each other keeping the sides up as you do so, creating a long twist of tahini and hazelnut butter filled dough!
- Place the twist in a greased loaf pan. Cover and place in a warm area for 1.5 hours until the dough has slightly rise and feels puffy.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake your babka for about 35-45 minutes until the top is a golden brown shade. If you happen to have a thermometer handy, check that the interior of the babka is 185-200 degrees in the thickest center part of the bread and remove from the oven.
- Transfer to a cooling rack before serving and enjoy!