Swirls of pink make this babka bread perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Add a fun pop of color to your bread basket! Babka bread is full of flavor and pretty swirls, making it the perfect bake-ahead treat for Valentine’s Day. The finished result may look challenging, but we promise it’s totally doable when you follow the stepped-out process.
Lori Vaughn demonstrates how to make her Valentine’s Babka Bread and what you need to have on hand to make it.
- 1 cup warm whole milk
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- About 4 cups bread flour *See note
- gel food coloring
- 1 tbsp water
- coarse turbinado sugar (optional)
- Add warm milk, yeast, and sugar to a stand mixer with a dough hook. A large bowl will also work if making by hand.
- Add 2 cups of flour, eggs, and salt. Let mix well. Then while mixer is running, slowly add the softened butter. Slowly add remaining flour. Depending on your moisture level, it may be slightly more or less flour.
Dough should be soft and smooth, but not too wet or sticky. If it’s tough and dense, you’ve added too much flour.
- Add a couple drops of a light shade of pink gel food coloring. Remove 1/4 of the dough (you can weigh it to be precise). Add a little more coloring of a darker shade and mix together until combined. Remove another 1/4. Add another shade of color (darker pink, purple, red- whatever you prefer). Mix until combined. You will end up with 4 different colored doughs.
Shape each into a ball and place it in its own bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. You can also put in the fridge to rest overnight.
- Line a 9×5″ loaf pans with parchment paper, with the edges hanging over slightly to make it easy to pull out. Lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Roll out each section of dough onto parchment paper to be the same size, about 10×12″. Layer them on top of each other. Trim any hanging edges as needed.
- Starting with the LONGER end, roll it up like a cinnamon roll.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut it open vertically down the middle. (Optional – you can chill the dough in the freezer before hand for about 15 minutes for a cleaner cut)
- Make an X with the dough, crossing them on top of each other. Then twist the top and twist the bottom. You end up with a beautiful twisted dough. Place in the loaf pan. Tucking in the ends as needed. Let it rise until it doubles about 50 percent.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Whisk together just the whites of one egg (to keep it light in color) with 1 tbsp of water. Brush on the tops of the RISEN loaf with the egg wash. Generously top with coarse sugar.
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until tops and bottoms are golden and the top of the bread seems set. If your oven browns the tops quickly, you can put a piece of foil on the top about 20 minutes in. It’s done when the bottoms are a dark golden brown and twists look fully cooked.
- Let it cool, then slice and enjoy! Be sure to slice it cooled to get the clean swirl look. Warm bread can squish together and become a bit more dense when cutting into.
Flour substitution: You can substitute bread flour for all purpose flour. I also loving doing a mix of 1/2 and 1/2 for a tender, yet sturdy loaf.