I don’t eat a lot of bread, but when I do, it tends to be the focus of the meal. Enter this granola babka, the perfect breakfast treat. I was lucky to be gifted some Oatbox granola over the holidays. Inspired by their recipe for cinnamon rolls, I decided to use the granola in a same-same-but-different form, babka. Who can’t get on board with sweet, swirled bread dough?
Now the kicker here is that this dough isn’t swirled with just anything. Babka is typically filled with chocolate, but this one rather has layers of walnut butter, brown sugar, and granola. The granola is key because it adds a much-needed element of crispy, crunchy texture. As I mentioned, said granola comes from a Montreal-based company called Oatbox. They are basically a “granola of the month” club. Monthly subscriptions cost $20 and get you two bags of granola. Flavours change from month to month. I used their banana molasses variety in this granola babka. The two flavours for January are buckwheat, almond, and honey, and matcha, coconut, and mulberries. An Oatbox subscription is a great idea for the New Year to help ensure you always have some healthy breakfast (and baking!) options on hand.
As for this granola babka, it’s surprisingly good for you despite its apparent decadence. Walnut butter replaces the butter you’d find in traditional cinnamon rolls. Given the sweetness in the nut butter and the granola, there’s not a ton of extra brown sugar. Otherwise, it’s just a basic white bread dough. You could totally use whole wheat flour instead or throw some bran in if you’re looking for the extra fibre. Pureed dates would also make a great substitution for the brown sugar in the filling.
Whether you need to feed a crowd of people for a holiday gathering, or just want to treat yourself on a cold winter morning, this granola babka will warm you up from the inside out!
*Oatbox supplied the granola for this post but the words and recipe here are my own.
- ½ package dry active yeast (just over 1 tsp. or about 4 grams)
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. fine salt
- 2 tbsp. oil (neutral-flavoured)
- ⅓ cup walnut butter (or other nut butter of your choice)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup banana molasses Oatbox granola
- Bloom the yeast with ¼ cup of warm water and 1 tbsp. of brown sugar.
- Once it has activated, add in the remaining ¼ cup of water, flour, salt, and oil.
- Mix in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment or by hand, kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes depending on what method you use.
- Let the dough rest for about 15-20 minutes.
- Roll it out into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick.
- Smear the walnut butter evenly over the rolled dough and sprinkle on layers of both brown sugar and granola.
- Roll the dough up tightly into a log, as if you were making cinnamon buns.
- Slice the roll longitudinally right down the middle, dividing it into two even halves.
- Twist these halves together, forming a spiralled loaf.
- Place the babka into a well-oiled loaf pan, cover, and rest it in the fridge overnight. Alternately, if you want to move ahead with baking it right away, leave it at room temperature and let it rise until doubled.
- Once the loaf has risen (whether that was in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for about an hour) bake at 350F for about 30 minutes. It should be golden and slightly crusty.
- Cool slightly and enjoy. Fresh bread is always best eaten warm!