Rum babas

By Michael Bonacini
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  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) sugar, plus extra for tins
  • 8 grams (14 milliliters) instant yeast
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups (480-600 milliliters) flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) cubed butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) melted butter, for tins


  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) dark rum
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) water
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 of a large navel orange, plus more for serving
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Special equipment:

  • 12 baba tins


For the babas:

  1. Add milk, sugar, and instant yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk briefly to combine. In a separate bowl, mix flour with baking powder and salt, then slowly add to bowl of stand mixer, mixing on high with dough hook. Add eggs and continue mixing on high for another three to five minutes. Turn speed to medium and add cubes of room temperature butter one at a time. Continue mixing with hook for another eight to ten minutes or until dough is supple and smooth.
  2. Brush 12 baba tins (depending on their size) with melted butter, then dust with sugar. Using a 60 milliliter scoop, divide dough between tins, making sure to only fill roughly halfway. Place tins in a baking dish, cover with a light dishcloth, and allow dough to rise until double in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 F (205 C). 

For the syrup:

  1. Add sugar, brown sugar, dark rum, water, and zest and juice of orange to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until just boiling. Decrease heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, transfer baking dish with tins to oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and baked through (tin will sound hollow when tapped if they are baked through). Remove from heat. Allow babas to cool slightly before removing from tins.
  3. Pour warm syrup over babas, soaking evenly. Let babas sit for five to ten minutes and soak up all the syrup before serving. Scatter with extra orange zest. Garnish with whipped cream.

Buon appetito!


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