Made this for the first time and boy-howdy it's a keeper.
Things I learned from making once, it had sour cream in the cheese part, but made it runny and hard to keep it in when rolling jelly roll fashion. Needs to be spreadable but not runny.
Let raise more than you would reg bread. I did the dough in my bread machine and took it out when it 'punched it down'. Worked well
Cook till looks browner than regular bread. Next time will bake @ 350F till nice and brown then reduce heat to 300°F and cook some more. Ricotta Cheese Babka
• 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
• 1 pinch white sugar
• 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
• 1/2 cup butter, melted
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
• 3 eggs
• 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
• 1 1/2 cups ricotta
• 1/3 cup white sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon flavor extract
• 1 Tbsp chopped lemon zest (peel)
• 2 tablespoons butter, meltedDirections
1. Sprinkle the yeast and the pinch of sugar over the warm water; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. Combine the 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, milk, and 3 eggs in a bowl with 1 cup of flour and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and beat for 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding small amounts of flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. Beat together the ricotta, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla and lemon extract, and dried lemon peel in a bowl until smooth. Set the filling aside. Lightly oil a 10-inch fluted tube pan (such as a Bundt®).
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Spread the cheese filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, starting from the long end; twist the dough 6 to 8 times to form a rope. Pinch the seams and ends closed and arrange the rope of dough in the greased pan. Cover loosely and let rise 1 hour.
5. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
6. Bake the babka until deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 300°F and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes; invert the babka onto a wire rack and remove the pan. Allow the babka to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.