I’m no master chef but I do have a few trusty tricks up my sleeve. One of them is my Homemade Challah Dough in a Mixer recipe. This is easily one of the most popular posts on my site. I have had people sending me photos and emails for years, excited to share their success. It’s easy. SUPER easy to make a mind blowingly good challah.
But after a few years of cranking out challah on the reg, your family may get less impressed with you. That’s when it’s time to turn up with this Boysenberry Babka recipe. Here’s a quick video I shot when I made it – nothing fancy. There’s photos below as well!
Thanks to Knotts Berry Farm for sending me some delicious Boysenberry goodies that inspired this. Boysenberry products are available at the park or you can check your local grocery store for Knott’s products.
For starters, all you need is the Challah dough I’ve already shown you how to make. I made it in my Kitchenaid Mixer but you can make it in any mixer or even a breadmaker. You could even knead it by hand but that’s less easy, so don’t do that unless you have lots of spare time and are in need of an upper body workout.
After your dough has risen, the magic happens. Punch it down and divide in half. My recipe makes two loaves, or one Challah and one Babka. So that’s dinner and dessert for the carb curious. Also breakfast the next day for the true fans.
Set aside the Challah blob of dough, you will do your thing with braiding that later.
Grab a rolling pin and roll, roll, roll your dough into a large flat disc. It should be around the size of a large pizza when you are done rolling. Not so thin you have holes, but not so thick that you will have any large filling free sections when this is all rolled up.
Optional: If you want to be decadent, and you are not kosher and/or will be making this for a dairy meal, brush a little melted butter on the disc. Butter makes everything taste better.
Next, slather on some Boysenberry Butter. I was so lucky that I was gifted some delicious Boysenberry Butter from Knott’s Berry Farm during the recent Boysenberry festival. You can order it online from them, or in a pinch you can substitute another type of fruit butter. I prefer fruit butter to jam/preserves for filling because it is more fruity and less sticky, without adding a ton of sugar. I can add the amount of sugar that I want, and in the form I want, which is next…
Sprinkle some brown sugar on top of the Boysenberry Butter. I like to use granular brown sugar because I love when there are those satisfying little crunchy sugar bits. I find I can use less sugar, but get more enjoyment that way. You can see how much I added in the video above.
Optional: Sprinkle on some nuts. I like toasted almonds with Boysenberry Butter. They pair well!
Now it’s time to roll her up. Starting at one end roll your disc into a long snake, jelly roll style. Then roll the snake a little to get it stuck together. The next step might get a bit messy. Before you start, have an oiled cake pan and some paper towels at the ready.
With a sharp knife slit the snake in half, lengthwise. You now have two long snakes with one flat side that is marbled and probably has some filling oozing out. Don’t worry, it’s all good. Gently twist each snake 3 or 4 times so that the filling spirals along the length. Then gently twist the two snakes together.
Place this big twisty snake into a cake pan. If you have a round pan, you can start in the middle and pinwheel it in a spiral to fill the pan.
Leave to rise in a warm place for an additional 20-30 minutes. Just before baking , brush with some egg wash ( leftover egg whites from the dough, and a little butter if you want). Top off with a little more brown sugar, and more nuts, if you like. Bake as with regular challah – you can bake this and your braided loaf together. I bake at 365 for 30 minutes, but keep an eye on the babka and be ready with some aluminum foil. The sugar makes it brown quicker.
Boysenberry Babka? You are a rockstar!