No-Knead Cinnamon-Pecan Babka

This recipe was created as part of a paid collaboration with Lyle’s Golden Syrup on Instagram but I’m posting it here too for ease of access!

We all love a babka don’t we? So much more impressive looking than cinnamon rolls AND it’s sliceable (which means you can whack a slice under the grill until toasty and then cover it in butter). Whilst chocolate babka will always be my favourite kind I of course have an affinity to a cinnamony babka. It’s like a fancy cinnamon-swirl loaf! Perfect for turning into French toast when it gets a little bit stale and not too sweet overall. I added pecans to the filling since I always seem to find that they work well with cinnamon and brown sugar.

cinnamon pecan babka on a plate

This one is a no-knead boy which means that yes, you do need to make the dough the day before (I leave it for at least 10 hours in the fridge), but it also means that it makes the process seem more manageable since it’s broken up by that waiting period. The dough is one I adapted very slightly from the incredibly clever book by Zoe Francois, Holiday & Celebration Breads in 5 Minutes a Day.

Soaking the baked loaf with a syrup made of diluted golden syrup is also key – the loaf really isn’t that sweet so the syrup does help to boost that but ALSO keeps the loaf moist and soft so don’t skip it!!

No-Knead Cinnamon-Pecan Babka

A simple no-knead dough which is mixed and allowed to rest in the fridge overnight before shaping and baking the next day. The baked bread is then soaked with syrup to make it sticky and moist. Here the filling is a mixture of cinnamon-sugar and pecans but you can use whatever babka fillings you like.
4.6 from 5 votes
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Course: Bread and Yeast Doughs
Special Diet: babka, bread, cinnamon, pecans, yeasted
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chilling & Proving time:: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours
Servings: 1 (2lb) loaf

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 100 g lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar or Lyle's golden syrup
  • 1 tsp easy-bake yeast see notes – do NOT use Allinson's yeast
  • 1 medium egg
  • 45 g vegetable oil
  • 250 g white bread flour
  • ½ tsp fine table salt

Filling:

  • 50 g unsalted butter , melted and cooled
  • 60 g muscovado sugar
  • 30 g Lyle’s golden syrup or honey
  • 5 g ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75 g pecans , roughly chopped

Syrup:

  • 50 g Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 50 g water

Instructions

For the dough:

  • Place the water, sugar, yeast, egg and oil in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt and stir together until the dough comes together and there are no floury patches remaining (it may be easier near the end of mixing to use your hands to knead it lightly in the bowl).
    100 g lukewarm water, 1 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp easy-bake yeast, 1 medium egg, 45 g vegetable oil, 250 g white bread flour, ½ tsp fine table salt
  • Drizzle a little bit of extra vegetable oil on the dough and flip it over a couple of times so the dough is coated in oil. Cover the bowl (I like to use a small, clean bin bag, secured at the side with a food clip) and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume – around 2 hours.
  • Once risen, chill the dough overnight (8-16 hours). This will do the ‘kneading’ for us and also makes the dough easier to handle when it’s time to shape.

For the filling:

  • The next day, combine all of the filling ingredients except the pecans in a small bowl. Set aside.
    50 g unsalted butter, 60 g muscovado sugar, 30 g Lyle’s golden syrup, 5 g ground cinnamon, Pinch of salt

Shape the babka:

  • Lightly flour a work surface and tip the chilled dough out onto it. Dust with some more flour on top and roll out into a 25 x 30cm rectangle. Spread all of the filling over the surface of the dough and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
    75 g pecans
  • Starting at the long edge, roll the dough up tightly into a log. Pop onto a tray or plate and freeze for 15 minutes – this will keep things neat and easy for the next step.
  • Remove the dough log from the freezer and cut down the length of the log so you end up with two long strips. Place the cut sides facing up and twist the lengths over each other a few times, pinching the ends to seal.
  • Carefully transfer the shaped dough to a lined 2lb loaf pan, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until almost doubled in volume.
  • Around 10 minutes before your dough is ready, preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Uncover the babka and bake for 25-35 minutes. It’ll be done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with no dough attached.

For the syrup:

  • As the babka is baking, warm the golden syrup and water in a small pot just until it starts to gently bubble.
    50 g Lyle’s golden syrup, 50 g water
  • Pour the warm syrup over the hot babka and leave it to soak in and cool before slicing and serving.

Notes

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

4 thoughts on “No-Knead Cinnamon-Pecan Babka”

  1. Angelica Escalon

    Hello! Is there a recipe for Lyle’s Golden Syrup? Or is that something we should buy?
    Thank you very much.
    Angelica

    1. It’s an ingredient! A very common ingredient in the UK – I suggest searching online for it if you can’t find it in your local supermarket!

  2. Hi Izzy,

    Is it possible to convert this to a sourdough recipe? If so, how should I go about doing it?

    Ada

    1. You probably could do so if you replace some of the water & flour in the recipe with your starter. You’d probably need around 100g of starter (so take away 50g of water and 50g of flour from the recipe).You’ll obviously need to adjust the rising times & remove the dried yeast too 🙂

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