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banana babka

Banana Babka

Yeasted banana bread swirled with a cinnamon sugar filling.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 38 minutes
Servings 2 loaves


  • two standard size loaf pans (8 or 9")


Yeasted Banana Bread

  • 1 cup milk 260g
  • 1 packet instant yeast 7g
  • ¼ cup sugar 55g
  • ¼ cup canola oil 50g
  • 150 g sliced bananas ripe about 1 ½ bananas
  • 4 cups bread flour 525g
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Filling

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar 200g
  • 1/2 cup butter 152g, either melted or browned (if browned, measure after browning see notes up top)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 egg whisked
  • Turbinado sugar


The night before, make the dough:

  • Heat the milk so it’s lukewarm and add the yeast to it, stir and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the rest of the dough ingredients and the milk & yeast mixture. Turn the mixer on low for a couple of minutes, then to medium and knead for a full ten minutes. The dough will be very sticky at first but it will start to come together a bit more toward the end of the ten minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge overnight.

The next morning:

  • Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 30-50 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen. It should still be a bit cold when you start working with it.
  • Make the filling by first browning or melting the butter, then stirring the sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. If you’ve browned the butter and the mixture is quite hot, set it in the freezer to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Prepare two loaf pans by greasing and lining them with a parchment sling. Use metal clips to hold the parchment in place if you have them.
  • Divide the dough into two equal halves. Set one aside, sprinkle some flour over it so it doesn’t dry out.
  • Roll out the first half to about 16×10 inches. Spread half of the filing over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border on one of the shorter sides. Roll up the dough from the other short side into a log then, using a sharp knife, slice it in half lengthwise. Twist the two halves around each other and place in prepared pan. Repeat with second half. Set the pans in a warm area and let rise until puffy. Preheat the oven to 350 F. The loaves are ready for the oven when the dough is pressed and the indentation doesn’t spring back very quickly (about an hour). Brush with eggwash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  • Bake the loaves for about 40 minutes, covering with foil if they are browning too quickly. To know if your bread is fully baked in the center use an oven thermometer, it should register 190 F.