Sticky Caramel-Pecan Babka

Sticky Caramel-Pecan Babka

3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 1/4 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • Make the dough: Combine the water and the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, and let stand until the yeast is dissolved. Add the milk, eggs, yolk, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, and whisk until the yolks are completely combined. Add 6 1/4 cups of flour and stir with a stiff spatula until a shaggy, floury dough is formed.
  • Using a dough hook, knead on medium-low speed until the dough comes together and is no longer floury, about 5 minutes. With the mixer still running, begin adding the butter in 1-tablespoon blobs. Mix until one blob is just barely incorporated before adding the next blob.
  • When all the butter has been added, continue kneading for another 5 minutes until the dough is silky, elastic, and quite jiggly. This won't form a ball like regular dough — it should bunch around the dough hook and clear the sides of the dough hook, but will still be attached in a sticky dough mass to the bottom of the bowl. Add the extra 1/4 cup of flour as needed if the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl. (For step-by-step instructions, see steps 2 through 6 in How To Make Kugelhopf.)

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