Strawberry Coconut Babka

New Babka Obsession
Photography by Stephen DeVries

Coconut flakes lend a delicate nuttiness to the sweet filling in this Strawberry Coconut Babka. We slather strawberry jam over the warm loaves post-bake.

Strawberry Coconut Babka
Makes 2 (9x5-inch) loaves
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/40°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 6 cups (750 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs (250 grams), divided
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
  • Strawberry Coconut Filling (recipe follows)
  • ¼ cup (80 grams) strawberry jam, melted
  • Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze (recipe follows)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine yeast and warm milk. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour and sugar to yeast mixture, stirring to combine. With mixer on low speed, add 4 eggs (200 grams) and vanilla, beating until mixture comes together, 2 to 3 minutes. (If mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add more milk, 1 tablespoon [15 grams] at a time.)
  3. Add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next. Add salt, beating just until combined, about 3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl. (If dough does not pull away from bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon [8 grams] at a time.)
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2½ hours. After dough has risen, refrigerate for 30 minutes. (Alternatively, the dough can be made 1 day in advance, and the entire rise may take place in the refrigerator overnight. Remove dough from refrigerator, and let come to room temperature before proceeding.)
  5. Spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray, and line with parchment paper.
  6. In a small bowl, lightly whisk together 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water and remaining 1 egg (50 grams).
  7. Divide dough in half. On a heavily floured surface, roll half of dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Spread half of Strawberry Coconut Filling onto dough, leaving a 1-inch border on long sides. Starting at one short side, roll up dough, jelly roll style, and press edge to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut roll in half lengthwise. Carefully twist dough pieces around each other, and place in prepared pan, cut sides up. Repeat procedure with remaining dough and remaining Strawberry Coconut Filling. Place prepared pans on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°F) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), about 35 minutes more. Brush melted jam over warm loaves while still in pans. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Drizzle with Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze. Wrap in plastic wrap, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Strawberry Coconut Filling
Makes about 3 cups
  • 2 cups (640 grams) strawberry preserves
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups (120 grams) sweetened flaked coconut
  1. In a small saucepan, cook preserves, cornstarch, and lemon juice over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut. Let cool completely. Once cooled, refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze
Makes about 1 cup
  • 2 cups (240 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk, and salt until smooth. Use immediately.



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