The pb&j babka has four components: bread, jelly filling, peanut butter filling, and streusel topping. None of the components are difficult. Just break it down and attack one at a time.
PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY BABKA
Dough Recipe adapted from Food & Wine
Makes 2 Babkas
The night before you get to eat babka, you make the dough...
4 cups flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup whole milk, warmed
2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut in to tablespoon sized pieces
In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
Combine the milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Wait about 5 minutes for it to become foamy.
Add eggs to the milk and yeast mixture, and pour the dry ingredients on top.
Mix slowly with the dough hook attachment until the ingredients are all incorporated.
Let the dough continue kneading. You can do this at a high or low speed, whichever you prefer. Knead the dough until it is smooth and springs back if you poke it.
Add the butter in all at once. Mix until the butter is fully incorporated. You will have a sticky, but smooth, dough. This may take some time. Scrape down the bowl often, and keep going. It will come together.
Cover the dough and let it stand for 1 hour.
Line a baking sheet with parchement paper. Spray it with a non-stick spray. Divide the dough in half, pat them in to two rectangles on the pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, make your fillings...
Jelly Filling Ingredients
1 ounce package freeze-dried strawberries
5/8 cup strawberry jelly or seedless jam
Jelly Filling Method
In a blender or food processor, pulse the strawberries until they are a fine powder.
Add the jelly to the berries and mix until combined and smooth.
Peanut Butter Filling Ingredients
2/3 cup (176 g) creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons butter
2 tbsp sugar
Peanut Butter Filling Method
Combine the peanut butter, butter, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix until smooth. The sugar doesn't need to be dissolved, but there should not be any clumps.
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons flour
Using a fork, combine sugar, butter, and peanut butter. Add in flour and mix until crumbly. Chill in the refrigerator.
Assemble and Bake the Babkas
Prepare your loaf pans by spraying with non-stick spray and lining the centers with parchment paper.
On a floured surface, roll out the first rectangle to about 16 x 18 inches. You want the dough to be about a 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the dough with the peanut butter filling. It should be evenly spread and not too thick. Leave a tiny bit of dough uncovered on one of the long edges. Brush that uncovered dough lightly with water.
Tightly roll up your dough starting at the other long end. Seal with the dampened edge. Carefully set this log aside.
Repeat the process with the other rectangle of dough. Spread that dough with the jelly filling.
Cut each log in half. Now you have four logs.
Carefully twist one jelly log with one peanut butter log. Repeat. Place each twist in to a prepared pan. Cover with a towel and let rise for 2 hours.
After two hours, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the babkas with an egg wash (1 egg mixed with a splash of water). Sprinkle with streusel. If it is falling off, you may need to press it on lightly.
Bake the babkas for about 45 minutes. They should be deeply golden. If you have a thermometer, test the temperature. It should be 200 degrees F or even a little higher.
Cool for a few minutes in the pan. Then, use the parchment to lift out your babkas to cool on a wire rack.