NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah kicks off Sunday.

To celebrate the New Year, Breads Bakery in Manhattan has added some traditional treats to its menu.

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Baker Edan Leshnick stopped by the CBS2 studio to make laminated cheesecake babka.

“Sharing bread is one of the most important things to start off the year. It is a sweet New Year, we say, so we do have a lot of honey that we share, bread, we have pomegranate seeds, everything that has to do with plentiful and sweet and sharing,” he said.

Laminated Cheesecake Babka Recipe:

For the dough:

170 grams (3/4 cup) whole milk
30 grams (3T) fresh yeast
650 grams (4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, sifted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
110 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
120 grams (8 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes

Butter for lamination-300g

Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl on low speed for approximately 4 minutes until all ingredients come together.

Transfer to table and form a rectangle about 1” thick. Cover in plastic wrap and transfer to fridge for an initial rest of 4-8 hours.

Prepare butter block:

Gently pound the 300g of butter between two plastic sheets. Parchment paper can be used as well. Form a rectangle approximately ½ the size of the dough rectangle. Cover and leave to cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to lamination.


Roll out chilled babka dough rectangle to 1.5x its length. Roll out chilled butter block to approximately ½ the size of the dough. Place butter block on top of ½ the dough and cover it with the other ½ so that the butter is completely enveloped in the dough.

Begin rolling out on a floured surface, rolling lengthwise to approximately 3x its original size. Fold the dough into thirds onto itself. Cover and refrigerate for 30min-1hour. Repeat this step 2 more times for a total of 3 folds.

Chill the dough for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator or freeze and use later.

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For the macerated apples:

1 Granny smith apple
1 Pink Lady apple
200g Granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon

Cut apples in half and core them. Cut into quarters and thinly slice them. In a bowl, toss apple slices, sugar and lemon zest. Let sit in fridge, covered overnight.


Babka Dough
Macerated apples

Lightly grease two 8 1/2-inch-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans with nonstick baking spray.

Roll out babka dough to approximately 9” wide and 27” long. Dough should be approximately 2.5mm in thickness.

Strain macerated apples and sprinkle them evenly on top of the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar.

Roll strip of dough into a tight roulade. Split roulade in half, lengthwise using a knife. Using a ruler, cut the halved roulade at 13.5”. Grab 2 strips and cross them in an “X” shape. Alternate each strip by twisting each one to create an even braid.

Proofing and Baking:

Cover the babkas lightly with a towel or place in a clean plastic bag, making sure the bag doesn’t touch the surface of the dough. Set in a warm place until almost 1.5 times in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

The dough should reach the top of the loaf pan but should not rise beyond it.

Once risen, preheat oven to 310f.

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Bake the babkas for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with honey. Let the babkas cool completely at room temperature before turning them out from their loaf pans.