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Birthday Babkachallah from 2,000 Miles Away

Continuing on with the family birthdays… My little cousin turns 16 this week! I’ve never had a younger sister so she is the closest I’ll ever get to knowing what that feels like. I had big plans to be able to be with her in person for this big milestone, but alas, Covid has kept me in California and her in Illinois.

I can’t be in the kitchen with her to share the experience of baking a completely over the top cake, so I made these mini birthday cake babkachallah!

Sadie, I love you and I will see you as soon as possible, happy sweet 16! ( I hope you enjoy this picture from your first birthday!)


4 Teaspoons instant yeast (2 packets of active dry yeast works too but I have found instant yeast results in a fluffier texture)

½ Cup sugar

½ Teaspoon salt

1 large egg, beaten

1 Teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup butter, melted

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

½ Cup warm water

½ Cup milk ¾ Cup sprinkles

3-4 Cups flour


½ Bag white chocolate chips, melted

½ Bag white chocolate chips, not melted


Whisk egg, salt, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, water, milk, and yeast in a large bowl.

Add the flour one cup at a time to yeast mixture. Using a strong spatula to mix at the beginning and using your hands to mix once it gets too difficult with the spatula.

Once the dough is fully mixed, turn onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes. (If you don’t knead the dough well enough, the challah will not hold its shape when it is braided.)

Grease a large bowl with spray oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and put in the oven to prove. (Make sure the oven is off!) Proof until the dough is doubled in size about 45 minutes-1 hour.

Once proved, turn the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 8 equal portions. Taking one of the portions,flatten out and spread with the melted white chocolate leaving about ⅓ inch on each side. Sprinkle with not melted white chocolate chips and sprinkles. Starting with the side furthest from you, roll the dough tightly into a log. Using a serrated knife, cut the log in half the long way to create two strands.

Twist the strands together and form a knot by making a circle and pulling one strand through the middle. Place in a greased cupcake tin. Repeat for the other 7 pieces. Let proof again for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating beat one egg with a splash of water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the top of the loaves. Bake the mini loaves for 25 minutes.

NOTES: Do not try to slice the bread right when it comes out of the oven. If you are storing the bread to eat later, make sure it is fully cooled before you put it into any kind of container or it will create condensation that will lead to mold.

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