Eggnog Babka Knots

Our favorite holiday quaff imbues these babka knots with warm notes of nutmeg and velvety vanilla custard. For an extra dose of holiday decadence, we made a rich Brandy Crème Anglaise as the perfect dunking sauce for our elegant babka twists.

Eggnog Babka Knots
 
Makes 12 babka knots
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 4¼ cups (510 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (191 grams) warm eggnog (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  • 1 tablespoon (18 grams) vanilla bean paste*
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract*
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (248 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) cold water
  • Brandy Crème Anglaise (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together ¼ cup (57 grams) warm water and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture, warm eggnog, melted butter, 1 egg (50 grams), vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract. With mixer on low speed, beat until dough comes together, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue beating until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  3. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Shape dough into a smooth round, and place in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover surface of dough with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 12 (83-gram) pieces. Roll each piece into a 9x4½-inch rectangle.
  6. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and nutmeg. Spread 1 teaspoon (5 grams) butter onto each rectangle. Spoon 1½ tablespoons brown sugar mixture onto each rectangle.
  7. Starting with one long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style, and place seam side down on surface. Using a bench scraper, cut each roll in half lengthwise. Shaping one at a time, cross 2 pieces in center, cut sides up, then twist pieces around each other tightly, pinching each end to seal. Form dough into a spiral with cut sides up, tucking and pinching end underneath roll to seal. Place at least 3 inches apart on prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon (14 grams) cold water and remaining 1 egg (50 grams). Brush knots with egg wash.
  10. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 16 to 18 minutes. (If you want your knots light in color like the ones pictured, cover with foil halfway through baking.) Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Serve warm, or let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with Brandy Crème Anglaise.
Notes
*We used Heilala Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Bean Paste.

Brandy Crème Anglaise
Serves: 2¾ cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (240 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (18 grams) vanilla bean paste*
  • ⅛ teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 5 large egg yolks (93 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) brandy
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat cream, milk, ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, just until steaming. (Do not boil.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar. Slowly pour about half of warm cream mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add egg mixture to remaining warm cream mixture, whisking to combine. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon and an instant-read thermometer registers 180°F (82°C). Immediately pour anglaise into a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Place in an ice bath to cool quickly, or cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface, and refrigerate until completely cool. Once cool, stir in brandy. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Notes
* We used Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste

 

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