Dubbed New York City’s most iconic dessert, we put a seasonal twist on the traditional braided babka sweet bread using our super-easy pizza dough recipe. Twist up our Classic Pizza Dough for a whole new take on pumpkin pie this holiday season. Baked in our cast iron skillet, this show-stopping sweet, spiced bread is perfect for kicking off your Thanksgiving and winter festivities!
Serves 6-8 as an appetiser
For the babka:
1kg Classic Pizza Dough
1 tbsp butter, melted
100g (½ can) tinned pumpkin puree
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2” knob fresh ginger, grated
100g (3.5 oz) brown sugar, to sprinkle
Zest of 1 orange
For the glaze:
50g (1.7oz) butter, melted
4 tbsp honey
Juice of half an orange
Zest of 1 orange
Prepare the pizza dough ahead of time. Our guide to making the perfect Classic Pizza Dough covers everything you need to know. Note that for this recipe, it’s not necessary to ball up the pizza dough – simply follow the recipe up until the bulk proving stage, so you end up with one large quantity of proved dough ready to roll out and turn into the rolls.
Fire up your Ooni pizza oven. Aim for 200˚C (400°F) on the stone baking board inside. You can check the temperature inside your Ooni pizza oven quickly and easily using the Ooni Infrared Thermometer.
In a bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix until well combined.
Spread the melted butter all over the surface of your Ooni Skillet, and set aside.
Lightly flour your work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten the ball of pizza dough into a long rectangular shape, about 1 inch thick. The sheet of pizza dough will roll out to about 60cm (24 inches) by 13cm (5 inches). Trim around the edges if you need to neaten up the shape.
Spread the pumpkin mixture evenly over the dough, then sprinkle over the brown sugar.
Take the long edge of the pizza dough and roll the dough in on itself, forming one long tube. Using a sharp knife, slice down the entire length of the tube to expose the filling.
With the exposed filling side facing up, and the two strands of dough laying side by side, pinch the very tops of the strands together to form a seal. Carefully twist the two strands of dough over and under each other to form a long braid. Take both ends of the braided tube and bring them together to form a circle, pinching together the two ends.
Place the braided dough inside the skillet, and place the skillet inside the oven. Keep the skillet as close as possible to the door, where the oven is a little cooler, as you want to cook the babka slowly.
Bake the babka for 30 minutes, rotating the skillet slightly every few minutes to ensure it cooks evenly and doesn’t burn. Extinguish the flame on your Ooni and leave the babka to continue cooking slowly in the residual heat of the oven. To test that it’s fully cooked, take a skewer and insert it into the babka - it should be clean when removed.
While the babka continues baking, make the glaze. In a saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter and mix in the honey and orange juice. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the babka is cooked, remove the skillet from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving board and pour over the buttery glaze, then cut and serve while still warm!