Babka is a sweet loaf, both fluffy and rich, kind of like a light textured coffee cake with a dense filling swirled throughout. Its origins date back five hundred years or so to the Jewish communities in eastern Europe. By the late 19th Century, babka looked like what we know today: a sweet, swirled loaf, longer than it is tall. The grandmothers of the shtetls in eastern Europe (where babcia is the word for grandmother) probably made babka with leftover challah bread dough wrapped around nuts or jam.
For this take on babka, the master bakers at Zingerman's Bakehouse take classic babka dough and liven it up with a sweet swirl of chopped apples and a generous dose of honey. The fruit makes for an especially moist interior. It's finished with a sprinkling of chopped toasted walnuts on top. Fresh, fruity, and just a little bit nutty this babka is ideal to nibble alongside your afternoon tea, as an indulgent breakfast, or as a flavorful midnight snack.