For Babka Lovers!

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I love babkas. I love the fluffy yeast dough. I love the crunchy streusel topping. I love them with chocolate. I love them with cinnamon. I love them with apples and I love them with cheese. I’m an equal opportunity babka lover. And this recipe makes a rich and delicious one. Use either the chocolate or cheese filling or make half and half. But don’t do what I just did – this recipe makes 4 good-sized babkas – I tried to make 2 large ones. They looked beautiful but they collapsed in the middle…and my kitchen was full of cheese filling!! So we all took out our spoons…

Babka – Cheese or Chocolate

Dough:
4 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
10 cups bread flour
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) margarine, softened
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups nondairy creamer, slightly warmed

Cheese Filling:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
2 (7.5 ounce) packages farmer’s cheese
4 teaspoons vanillin sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1-1/2 cups sugar

Chocolate Filling:
1-1/2 cups cocoa
3 cups sugar
10 teaspoons vanillin sugar

Streusel Topping:
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, cut into pieces
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar

Proof yeast in warm water. Add sugar and nondairy creamer. Mix in a few cups of flour, some of the margarine, some of the eggs and continue like that until flour is totally incorporated. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 1-1/2 hours.
In the meantime, beat all filling ingredients (either cheese or chocolate) until smooth.
For streusel topping, use food processor to pulse together margarine, flour and sugar until coarse crumbs form. Set aside.

Cut dough into 4 pieces and roll each one out on a lightly flour surface. Place filling along edge and roll up like a jelly roll. Attach ends to form circle and place in tube or other round pan. Cover and let rise another ½ hour. Sprinkle with streusel and bake until golden – 45 – 50 minutes. Take a piece for yourself – you won’t get another chance!

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