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This delicious vegan hazelnut babka is a dream come true: layers of soft and fluffy bread filled with the most delicious roasted hazelnuts filling. This cake is moist, perfectly sweet and absolutely irresistible!
And you know what it also great about this vegan babka?! You only need 10 ingredients and little time to make it (Yay!).
Before you jump into the kitchen to make this recipe, I suggest you read this blog-post carefully. The recipe is easy but there are some tricks to know to be sure to get the best result.
To make this vegan babka with roasted hazelnut filling all you need are the following 10 ingredients:
- White flour
- instant yeast
- soy milk
- vegan butter
- lemon zest
Instant yeast vs. fresh yeast
You can use either. I used instant yeast, but if you prefer you can use 12 g of fresh brewer's yeast.
This babka can be prepared in one or two days. I recommend the second option. In this way, the dough rises slowly overnight in the refrigerator. This slow rising makes the dough tastier and fluffier, making our babka even more delicious. By the way, the roasted hazenut filling also tastes better if you let it sit in the fridge overnight.
But if you prefer to prepare and bake the babka on the same day, you can do that without any problem. It will still be delicious, but with a little less flavor.
Roasted Hazelnut Filling
To determine whether a babka is good or not, there are several factors to consider. One of them is how moist the babka is, because there is nothing worse than a dry one, let's face it.
But how do you make a moist babka? The answer is simple: with a delicious and moist filling! And that's when our roasted hazelnut filling comes into play. The nut filling should have a spreadable consistency. Not too dry, not too runny. If too dry add a dash of water, if too runny add some more nuts.
How to braid a babka
Honestly, I'm not a great at braiding and I always try to keep it as simple as possible.
The babka will be quite fragile and the different layers tend to separate after you cut it in half, so braid it as quickly as possible on a sheet of baking paper and place it directly in a cake pan. Remember: the babka doesn't have to be perfect, it will double in size and this will remove all traces of its imperfections 😉 so don't stress, you'll do just fine!
If you want to see a braiding tutorial click here, from minute 6:00 to minute 6:30 it explains very well how to braid a pigtail.
How to bake a babka
Each oven is slightly different, in mine I put the babka in the middle of the oven and bake it at 180 °C (360 °F) for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. After baking I take it out of the oven, brush it with syrup and let it cool completely in the mold.
Syrup: necessary or not?
This babka is coated with sugar syrup after baking. This makes the braid super moist. I recommend you follow this step because I created the recipe with the addition of syrup in mind. If you leave it out, the braid may not be sweet enough.
How to store babka
You can either store the nut braid in a bread bag at room temperature or store it in the freezer (depending on how long you want to keep it).
If you choose the freezer, I recommend slicing the babka, wrapping it in plastic wrap, and placing it in an airtight container. This will prevent it from absorbing flavors from other foods. You can store it in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow it to thaw completely before serving.
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Vegan Hazelnut Babka
- Food processor or kneading machine
- 300 g white flour ((10½ oz))
- 40 g sugar ((1½ oz))
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- 180 ml soy milk lukewarm ((6⅓ oz))
- 80 g vegan butter ((3 oz))
- 120 g hazelnuts ((4½ oz))
- 50 g almonds ((2 oz))
- 60 g sugar ((2¼ oz))
- 60 g water ((2¼ oz))
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 lemon zested
- ½ tsp salt
- 60 g sugar ((2¼ oz))
- 60 ml water ((2¼ oz))
- *The day before baking: place flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a food processor or kneading machine and mix briefly.
- Add milk and knead into a dough.
- Add the softened butter and knead until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- For the filling, place hazelnuts and almonds on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake at 200 °C (390 °F) for about 5 minutes. Mix the nuts briefly and roast for another 3 minutes. Then allow to cool briefly.
- Place nuts in a food processor and coarsely chop (set 2 tablespoons aside). Add cinnamon, sugar, lemon zest, salt and water and blend until a paste is formed.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, line an 11 x 21 cm (4⅓ x 8¼ inches) cake pan with baking paper.
- Knead dough briefly and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 30 x 40 cm.
- Spread the nut paste evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 cm border. Sprinkle the coarsely chopped nuts on top and press down lightly.
- Roll the dough tightly into a sausage starting from one of the long edges. Place the sausage on a sheet of baking paper and cut in half lengthwise with a sharp knife to reveal the filling.
- Intertwine the two halves so that the cut sides are facing up, place in the prepared form, and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
- Start preheating the oven to 180°C (360 °F).
- Bake the babka for about 35-45 minutes, in the middle of the oven until golden brown.
- While the babka is in the oven, prepare the syrup. Place sugar and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and set aside.
- Brush the babka with the syrup and let cool in the form so it can soak up the syrup.