A soft brioche dough filled with thinly sliced fresh figs, a decadent layer of salted caramel sauce and chopped pecans, elegantly shaped into a layered knot. This gorgeous babka will grace your table for breakfast, tea time or dessert!
2 ¼ teaspoon (1 envelope) active dry yeast
200g (200ml) whole milk, luke warm
2 tablespoon sugar
545g (3 2/3 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
90 g (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg, whisked for egg wash
6 to 8 Figs, sliced thinly
60g (1/2 cup) pecans, finely chopped
- Add the yeast, milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar into a small bowl and mix well. Set to one side for 15 minutes until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the remaining sugar, flour and salt and mix to combine. Add the eggs (step 1) and foamy yeast mixture and mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough begins to come together. At this point if the dough doesn’t come together then add one tablespoon at a time of milk until it does. Increase your mixer speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. (step 2).
- Next, reduce the mixer speed to low and start adding a tablesoon at a time of butter, waiting for each spoonful to be incorporated before adding the next one. It takes about 4-5 minutes for this process. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes until the dough is extremely smooth, slightly sticky and extremely elastic. (step 3)
- Shape the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl (step 4) and cover in plastic. Set aside for 1 ½ hours at room temp and the dough will double in size (step 5), then punch the air out slightly and shape into a rectangle. Wrap in cling wrap and place in the freezer for one hour before rolling.
- Alternatively, once you have shaped the dough and placed it into an oiled bowl, instead of setting aside at room temperature to proof, place in the fridge overnight covered in cling wrap. By the morning the dough will have doubled in size and will be ready to roll (you will not need to do the step of freezing the dough before rolling as the dough is already cold)
To prepare the dough knot
- Flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll the dough out into a rectangle approx 40cmx60cm in size (step 6). Smother with ¾ of your jar of salted caramel sauce, smoothing with an offset spatular or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle ¾ of the chopped pecans (step7) onto the caramel, covering the dough sheet evenly. Next place your sliced figs over the pecans (step 8).
- Starting from one of the long sides, gently roll the dough tightly until it is one long sausage and trim the ends to neaten it up (step 10).
- Approx 2 cm from the top of the roll, cut the roll in half lengthwise (the top should still be attached (step 11). Turn the cut sides to face upwards and then lift one half over the top of the other. Repeat this process until you have one long piece of twisted dough.
- Grease and line a 9 inch springform/cake pan. Gently bend the twisted dough into a circle (step 12) and with a dab of water cross the two ends over each other and stick together with some water. Place gently into the cake pan (step 13) and lightly cover with cling wrap.
- Set aside in a warm place for 30-40 minutes to rise.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F. Brush with the egg wash and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. If the dough starts to look too golden before it has finished baking, then place foil over the baking pan in a tent shape.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature with a sprinkle of nuts, somemore sliced figs and a drizzle of caramel sauce.