Go Back
+ servings
Lemon Streusel Twisted Babka Ready for Slicing
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
No ratings yet

Lemon Streusel Twisted Babka

Cook Time45 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 3 loaves
Author: Barbara Schieving


  • 3 cups lukewarm water 100° or below
  • 16 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 7 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup lemon curd


  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped nuts I used sliced almonds
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • pinch of salt

Lemon Curd

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces


  • Mix the water, egg yolks, yeast, sugar, salt, and melted butter in a 6-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
  • Mix in the flour without kneading, using a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle), a danish dough whisk, or a spoon. The mixture will be quite loose because of all the yolks.
  • Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises for 2 hours.
  • The dough will be loose, but will firm up when chilled. Don't try to use it without chilling for at least 3 hours. Refrigerate the container and use over the next 5 days.
  • To bake: Generously grease a parchment lined 8 ½ x 4 ½ -inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a round ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
  • Roll the dough out to a ⅛-inch thick rectangle, about 12 x 15 inches. As you roll out the dough, add flour as needed to prevent sticking. (I like to roll out the dough on a silicone mat.)
  • Spread the lemon curd evenly over the dough. Sprinkle three-quarters of the streusel over the curd. Save some for the top.
  • Starting with the long side of the dough, roll it up into a log. Pinch the seam closed. Stretch the log until it is about 2 inches thick. Cut the log in half, lengthwise. Twist the 2 long pieces together, with the cut side facing up. Form an oval with the ends together and place in the prepared pan.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 90 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
  • Sprinkle the loaf with the remaining streusel.
  • Bake the loaf for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and well set.
  • Allow to cool on a rack completely before eating.
  • !Streusel topping
  • Combine all the streusel ingredients in a bowl and mix until the butter is roughly incorporated. Don't overmix--you want a crumbly texture. Set aside.
  • !Lemon Curd
  • Whisk together the yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large metal bowl.
  • Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water set up as a double boiler.
  • Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until the lemon curd begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the butter and continue to stir until it is completely melted and the curd thickens; it will be the consistency of smooth pudding.
  • If there are any lumps, strain the curd into a container; then cover with plastic wrap.
  • Set the container in the freezer until cool, and then refrigerate.