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Coconut Custard Babka – Food52 recipe testing


Makes 2 loaves – comments in RED

Babka dough

4.25 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

Coconut custard

4 egg yolks
6 teaspoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons sugar
1.5 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

  1. For the dough: In a mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast, eggs and water. With a dough hook, put mixer in low speed until it starts coming together. Pick up a little more speed and add a little water if necessary (2-3tbsps). It will look a little dry, but that’s okay.
  2. Add butter 1 tbsp at a time on low, waiting for it to be incorporated into the dough before adding the next. Mix on low-medium for at least 5 minutes before you see the dough pulling from the side and becoming smooth. (I added about 3 TBLS water after the butter)
  3. Mix and scrape down the bowl for another 5 minutes. Place rounded dough in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge to rise overnight.
  4. For the filling: cream butter and sugar and mix in egg yolks. Then stir in coconut
  5. Grease 2 loaf pans (and line) with parchment paper. Work with half of the dough from the fridge. Roll out onto a floured counter to 15×10″ (It was difficult to roll the dough fresh out of the fridge – maybe 30 mins to an hour warmup time?)
  6. Spoon half of the filling over top evenly, leaving a clean 1 inch border around the edges. Start by rolling the shortest side of the dough into a tight log. Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half length-wise leaving 1 inch of the end uncut
  7. Braid the two pieces, by carefully crisscrossing the strands over each other. Repeat until the end of the log, press together to seal and tuck under. Swiftly (no need for speed!), transfer dough to the greased loaf tin. Repeat with other half of dough
  8. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hour. Heat oven to 375F and place loaf (loaves) on the middle rack of your oven. Make the egg wash (what egg wash? were all three eggs supposed to go into the dough, or was one for egg wash? I think the dough consistency was correct with 3 eggs – so probably just need to list the egg for egg wash) and brush over the top. Bake for 30-40 mins. Cover the top with foil if it browns too quickly. (I think 350° would be better temp – my loaves were very dark on the outside, and almost underdone filling)

I thought this was a delicious babka dough – can’t wait to try this with a different filling – chocolate and walnuts, cherries!

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