Cranberry Wine Babka split
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Cranberry Wine Babka

Turning wine into bread is easy and delicious when you make Cranberry Wine Babka. Made with a cranberry wine reduction, it's sweet-tart goodness!
Adapted from Splendid Table and Momfluential
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Resting Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 5 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: Babka, Baking with wine, Bread, Cranberry, Wine, Yeast Bread
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Tammy Spencer, Scotch & Scones

Special Equipment

Ingredients

For Dough

  • 3/4 cup milk (6 oz), warm (85-105°F)
  • 1/4 cup 50g sugar (50g), divided
  • 2 tsp yeast (7g, 1 packet)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (52g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (15 oz, 425g), plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (9g)

For Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry wine, see Recipe Notes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, sweetened
  • 1/2 cup raspberry wine jelly, see Recipe Notes
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (120g)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder (13g), optional
  • 2 tsp orange zest, optional
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher salt

Procedure

Dough

  • Heat the milk and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a medium saucepan until the milk is warm to the touch. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and set aside to proof for about 5 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface of the milk (see Recipe Notes).
  • Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to incorporate. Add the flour, the remaining sugar, and the salt and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated into the liquid and a sticky dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed until a smooth and slightly sticky dough forms, about 5 minutes. Add more flour if needed to make the dough the right consistency.
  • Gather the dough into a ball, stretching the dough so the top of the ball is smooth. Wipe a large bowl with a small amount of canola oil, then place the dough back into the bowl with the gathered rough part of the dough down and the smooth surface of the ball facing up. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size (inside an oven with the light on works well if you don't have a proofing machine, or one that doesn't work).

Filling

  • While the dough is resting, heat wine in the microwave for 1 minute on HIGH. Soak the dried cranberries in the warmed wine for at least an hour. Strain the wine into a small saucepan, and set the cranberries aside. Bring the wine to boil over medium-high heat and reduce to ½ cup (about 15 minutes). Keep an eye on it so the wine doesn’t reduce too fast and burn. It will have a slightly thickened texture and will coat the back of a spoon (it will firm up upon chilling). Pour into a small bowl and chill until ready to use.
  • Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder and/or orange zest (if using) and salt in a small bowl.

Assemble the Babka

  • Once the dough has doubled, coat a standard loaf pan (8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inches) with cooking spray and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, with an inch or two of the paper overhanging the edges of the pan. Dust a clean surface with flour and roll the dough out to a rectangle roughly 15 x 17-inches, with a long side facing you (landscape orientation). Spread the jelly over the surface of the dough, then drizzle some the cooled wine syrup, reserving the rest, and spread it over the jelly. Sprinkle the sugar mixture to lightly cover the spread (you’ll have some left over). Finally, sprinkle reserved cranberries evenly over everything.
  • Tightly roll the dough up from the bottom, making a 17-inch rope. Slice the dough in half lengthwise, making two 17-inch long pieces (the dough might start to fall apart because of the cranberries). Twist each long piece individually so the cranberries are trapped inside the dough, tucking in any that have fallen out. Then twist and wrap the two ropes of dough together. Squish the twisted dough together and transfer it to the prepared loaf pan, tucking in any stray cranberries and dough. Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the top of the dough (again, you may not use it all) and then cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • While the babka loaf is resting, preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the dough has rested (it won’t have risen much, just a tiny bit), place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and continue to bake until the top of the dough is deep brown, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then use the parchment paper to lift the babka out of the pan and transfer it to a wire cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature.
  • When ready to serve, warm the babka or serve at room temperature. Slice thickly and drizzle the reserved wine syrup. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

I used Cranberry Bay cranberry table wine and Bad Newz raspberry wine jelly from Plymouth Bay Winery
In Step 1 I proofed the yeast in milking a bit of sugar to "prove" the yeast was active. I don't normally do this step when I make challah, just dump everything into the mixing bowl. However, after have tried twice to get my dough to rise, I went ahead and did this extra step. It couldn't hurt (even if it turned out the yeast was the problem at all). Whether you choose to proof your yeast is up to you.
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