Cinnamon Streusel Babke
MMCC’s Natanya and Lisa were together at a friend’s 50th and spent far too long standing way too close to June Edelmuth’s renowned cinnamon and sugar-swirled babke, peeling off layer after layer of doughy deliciousness. June has become known all over Sydney for this legendary cake; the recipe comes from her Russian grandmother Minka and is now a cherished MMCC favourite.
565 g (3¾ cups/1 lb 4 oz) plain
(all-purpose) flour, plus extra
150 g (⅔ cup/5⅓ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
60 ml (¼ cup/2 fl oz) warm water
10 g (1½ sachets/3½ teaspoons) active dried yeast
1 teaspoon white (granulated) sugar
1 egg yolk
155 g (5½ oz) unsalted butter
80 ml (⅓ cup/2¾ fl oz) pure (35%) cream
60 ml (¼ cup/2 fl oz) milk
100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter, melted and lukewarm
80 g (½ cup/2¾ oz) sultanas
25 g (2½ tablespoons/1 oz) ground cinnamon
375 g (1⅔ cups/13¼ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
90 g (⅔ cup/3¼ oz) plain
45 g (1½ oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped
55 g (¼ cup/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
50 g (1¾ oz) unsalted butter, melted
Combine the flour, caster sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and white sugar and allow to stand for 10 minutes or until frothy, to ensure the yeast is active. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and the yolk.
In a small saucepan, warm the butter, cream and milk together until the butter is just melted; do not allow the mixture to boil. Set aside until it is lukewarm. Pour the yeast mixture into the well then add the eggs and the milk mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine then gradually incorporate the flour until you have a rough dough. Using the dough hook attachment, knead on low – medium speed for 10 minutes or until you have a smooth dough that starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with baking paper and plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 3 hours or until doubled in volume.
To make the cinnamon sugar, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
To make the streusel topping, rub together the flour, butter and sugar with your fingertips to make a fairly fine crumble. Set aside.
Line a round 30 cm (12 inch) cake tin or a deep square 25 cm (10 inch) baking dish. When the dough has risen, punch it down by throwing the dough onto a lightly floured benchtop. Do not knead or add more flour, as this will toughen the dough. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll out 1 piece to a large rectangle, about 65 x 40 cm (25½ x 16 inches). Brush with half the melted butter, sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar and scatter over half the sultanas. Roll up lengthways to form a log. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Cut each log into 5 cm (2 inch) sections. Place these in a circular fashion into the prepared tin, starting from the outside, cut side up, leaving about 1 cm (½ inch) between each one. Once the pieces are all in place and evenly distributed in the tin, press down gently with your hand so they are all the same height. Brush with the extra melted butter and then sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping. Cover with a light tea towel and allow to rise for
a further 2 hours or until almost doubled in volume.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F/Gas 3). Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Serve warm or cover with a light tea towel until cool. If you wish, reheat it later, wrapped in foil.
Serves about 20
The sisterhood is comprised of Lisa Goldberg, Merelyn Frank Chalmers, Natanya Eskin and Jacqui Israel from Sydney’s Jewish community. They think of themselves as their own little melting pot, which is reflected in their heart-warming and gorgeous books. They live in Sydney, Australia, but come from different backgrounds. Merelyn comes from Perth, with Hungarian heritage. Jacqui started her life on the Sydney north shore with an English background. Lisa is from Melbourne, of Polish stock. Natanya is a Sydney girl with Shanghai/Russian roots. More ideas, more cooking and more love!
In 2006 it all began when they started to meet every Monday morning – to chop and stir, mince and roll, roast and bake, fry and boil. They tasted and ate, laughed and debated, argued and agreed. They culled and vetted, tested and re-tested, and argued and laughed some more. The end result – a curated and fine-tuned collection of brilliant heirloom recipes and stories to share with the world and pass on to the next generation. Over a chopping board and hot stove, with many cups of tea and the odd piece of cake, a unique bond began to form. They started out as a group of individuals and are now a sisterhood. They want to continue to collect, test, curate, share and preserve those treasured recipes from the older generation for their own generation, and for the future.