One of the first "creative" challah flavors I ever created was a peanut butter and jelly challah. The dough had actual peanut butter in it and it was stuffed with grape jelly.
It was the first recipe of mine that was shared by another Jewish food blogger. It was the first recipe that helped me to realize that there was a huge appetite out there for updated Jewish recipes.
After many rounds of testing, I have perfected the recipe for my peanut butter and jelly babka. I dare say that this babka form is even more delicious than the original challah!
½ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk, warmed
2 ½ Teaspoons instant yeast
1 Egg yolk
¼ Cup sugar
½ Teaspoon kosher salt
2 Cups flour
2 Tablespoons peanut butter powder
7 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
1 Jar of grape jelly
1 Tablespoon corn or potato starch
2 Tablespoons cold butter
¼ Cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon peanut butter powder
Whisk egg, egg yolk, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until smooth and slightly pale in color. Whisk in warmed milk and yeast until combined.
Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix in the flour and peanut butter powder until almost fully mixed. Add butter (make sure it’s at room temperature!) and mix until incorporated. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.
Turn out the dough and knead for just a few minutes until very smooth. Transfer to a greased bowl and let rise for 1 ½ - 2 hours until doubled.
Prepare the grape jelly filling by mixing the corn or potato starch into the jar of jelly.
Once the dough is done proving, place on a floured surface and roll into a large rectangle. The dough should be as thin as you can get it. This ensures the most swirls inside the bread.
Using an offset spatula spread the filling over the dough in a thin layer. Starting on the edge closest to you begin to tightly roll the dough away from you until you run out of dough and are left with a log of dough. Pinch the ends together to ensure no filling leaks out while baking.
Fold in half and twist together to form a log.
Place the twisted babka in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise for another half an hour while you make the streusel topping.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
To make the streusel topping, pour the brown sugar and peanut butter powder into a mixing bowl. Using your hands, rub in the butter until the mixture looks like sand.
Beat an egg in a bowl with a splash of water and using a pastry brush, brush over the top of the babka. Then sprinkle the streusel topping over the babka. Bake for 45-50 minutes.