Here is my latest addition to the list of sourdough sweet bakes! This recipe is based on my sourdough babka dough. I have a great Chocolate babka recipe and another with Pear jam and Walnut. They are both very popular (well chocolate is more so 😉 )and delicious. Check them out if you haven’t already. I do several flavors (flavor combos) throughout the year using the same dough recipe and they are all showcased on my Instagram for you to get inspired.
This one is very original I guess. True story, I made a batch of Sourdough Apple Fritters (another recipe I highly recommend checking out) last week and while biting into one, I just thought, wouldn’t it be amazing to have this same apple mix in a babka but I could shape it into a couronne, so its festive ready! And could it have a glaze too, just like the fritters. So as a result this recipe was born!
A couronne shape is ideal for festive season and makes a great table centerpiece too around Christmas and Thanksgiving. Check out my Cranberry (jam) and marzipan couronne at the same time if you like festive bakes.
The dough is very similar to the one I use in my other babka recipes. The real deal here is the spiced apple mix and the tangy glaze that is full of intense apple flavor. These two elements are the key factors that make this bake stand out. So try to get them right and you are onto an amazing treat!
Use any apple type you like. Sweeter ones are best but we add sugar to the mix so even the granny smith would work. Make sure to peel and core the apples and cut them in to tiny cubes( 1/2 cm). Smaller chunks will cook faster and would be easier to be folded in to the dough. Adjust the spices to your liking.
Cook the apples just until they start to go soft. If you cook the apples to a mush, you’ll loose the texture. It will be more like apple butter than chunks. This only takes about 5 minutes. Keep stirring to stop them from burning or sticking to the pan. After some time the juices will reduce and coat the apples. As this cools the mixture will get less syrupy.
You can make the apple filling a day or two ahead and leave it in the fridge!
Apple Cider Glaze
Use either homemade or store bought apple cider for this. I used store bought this time. Apple cider is a great way to add apple flavor to your bakes and fillings. Have you tried my Apple Cider Caramel? It is delicious and great on desserts.
First we need to reduce the cider to intensify the flavor. I am using 1 cup cider + 1 tbsp brown sugar and reduce it to a little less than 1/4 a cup, on medium heat. The thick syrup is then used to make the glaze. It is very tangy and full of apple flavor! If you don’t want to make this glaze, use a simple vanilla glaze (water+ vanilla+ powdered sugar) or a lemon glaze instead. It will still be equally delicious!
If you want the glaze to set to a thick crust, make the glaze thicker by adding more powdered sugar. For a thinner glaze use more cider and thin down the glaze.
A thicker glaze will set faster and firmer with time and gives added texture (a slight crisp) A thinner glaze will not fully set but gives you enough flavor and tang to cut though the sweet filling.
Let me guid you step by step. Any questions comment below and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience.
You can cook the apples the day before. Also reduce the apple cider before hand and have it ready.
Peel and core the apples of your choice. Cut into 1/4 inch cubes. Melt butter in a saucepan, add the apples, cinnamon and sugar and cook over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes. Make sure to stir and with time, the juices and sugar will turn in to a thick syrup and coat the apples.
cool completely before using or storing
Mix everything until it all comes together into a soft sticky dough. Use the paddle attachment first. Once everything comes together, you can change to hook attachment.
Keep mixing on medium speed ( 2 on KitchenAid) for about 3-4 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides and use a dusting of flour on the mixer wall, to encourage dough to release from the sides. Once the dough feels developed ( there won’t be any window pane as such) stop mixing/kneading
Bring the slightly sticky dough out onto a floured surface and do a few slap and folds to bring the dough together. It will become smoother. Now round up the dough to a tight ball. Place in a greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to bulk.
This may take 4-5 hours roughly around 32°C
Once the dough has bulked ( it will expand to almost 1.5 times the original size) bring it on to a floured surface punch down and round up to a tight ball again.
Place the dough in a container, close tightly and refrigerate for the long slow proof/fermentation. Anywhere from 12- 18 hours is fine
Same day bake:
You can also shape and bake this on the same day. In that case place in the fridge for 2 hours just to harden the dough and continue to shape and proof
If you retard the dough in the fridge, first take it out and let it sit on the counter for about an hour. Just until it is soft enough to roll out. Do not let it thaw completely as a sticky dough will be harder to handle.
Roll-out the dough on a floured surface. Thickness around 1/2 cm. Do not roll out too thin, the dough might tear when you spread filling. Too thick and you won’t get may swirls.
Brush the dough lightly with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar+ flour mixture.
Then spread the cooked apples
Start rolling the dough. This should be along the length.
Once completely rolled, pinch the end and split the roll using a sharp knife. And twist the two strands.
Join the twisted dough so it will represent a wreath. Place in a 9 inch tray lined with parchment. Leave this to proof for about 4 hours.
Towards the end of the proof, pre-heat the oven to 360 °F and place the rack in the bottom 2/3 of the oven. This will stop the top burning too much. And back for 40 – 50 minutes. Turn the pan around after the first 20 minutes, so that both sides will be baked evenly.
Once baked leave on a wire rack to cool
In the meantime, prepare the glaze. Mix the reduced apple cider and powdered sugar to make a thick glaze.
The thicker the glaze the faster it will set.
Generously pour the glaze over the cooled courounne. It is a thick glaze (almost like an icing) so you might need to use a spatula to spread it!
Let the glaze set before cutting into it!
Tip: If the glaze starts to set before you are done with spreading, place the couronne under a grill for 30 seconds or use a blow torch to remelt the glaze. Once the glaze is loosened up you can spread it again.
Bake a babka with this same recipe
This same dough can be baked in a 9 by 5 pan too, just like a babka. You can either use the same glaze or brush the babka with a simple sugar syrup for a simpler finish.