BLESS THIS MESS
Cinnamon Babka is a cousin to cinnamon rolls and brioche. It is full of flavor and will create the most delightful smells in your home. The most commonly shaped babka is a rectangular loaf. It looks beautiful and is filled with delicious cinnamon swirls.
Stir warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Microwave the milk and butter together in a microwave safe bowl just until the butter is just melted.
Put the warm milk and butter mixture and ½ cup sugar in a large bowl and add half the flour. Mix well to combine. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Add yeast mixture and mix well. Add salt and remaining flour and mix until completely combined.
Cover bowl with tea towel and let rest until double, about 30-45 minutes. Prepare two 9x5 inch bread pans by greasing them well with butter or shortening. After the dough has risen, remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface.
Dived the dough in half, and working with one half, roll the dough out into a large rectangle that is roughly 24 inches long and 12 inches wide. Mix the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon together in a small mixing bowl for the filling.
Spread half the filling evenly all over the rolled out rectangle of dough. Roll the dough up tightly along the longest edge like you would cinnamon rolls.
Cut the log in half down the length of the log (opposite of how you would cut cinnamon rolls). Twist the 2 cut halves together against each other, keeping the cut sides up.
Place the twisted log of dough into the well greased loaf pan by placing one end of the twist in the pan, layering it back on itself, and then fold it back on itself again. Repeat with other half of the dough for a second loaf.
Let the loaves rise 30-60 minutes or until the dough has risen about an inch or so out of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45-55 minutes or until an instant thermometer reads 190 degrees F.
Once the bread has finished cooking and is out of oven, brush the top of the bread all over with the sugar syrup. It makes the tops very shiny. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes in pan. Remove from the pan and cool on cooling rack.