The breakfast bread you were looking for. A bred which doesn’t require any spread cause it already has it inside it. Perfectly sweet, not too much – simple and fresh, this is my take on a Strawberry Jam Babka.
Babka, made with brioche loaf is a soft bread usually, swirled in spreads, chocolates, or with cheese. A slice of this during breakfast with your coffee will give you so much life. Let’s learn about the loaf, the bread, and the babka below.
In the world of breads, you will go through words like lean and rich. Now essentially, the difference between these type of breads is its ingredients. If we talk about lean dough per say, it mostly includes, water, yeast, salt and flour.
On the contrary, rich doughs have a lot going in including a lot of fat content and dairy products like eggs and milk. A heavy day – it needs time to breathe and proof, which is detailed below.
The blog has another Babka Recipe, a savoury one. Click here – to go to it.
Working with Yeast
YEAST is nothing to be scared about, it’s honestly not Rocket Science. I use Active Dry Instant Yeast. If you’re using Fresh Yeast, just double the quantity. Here are a few tips which will help you to learn about yeast. I use Active Dry Instant Yeast.
Water: Only use Warm Water when trying to activate yeast. Both hot and cold water will kill the yeast. Use Lukewarm Water!
Salt vs Sugar: Sugar helps the yeast to activate, to make it frothy and to give a better rise. Whilst, salt is the opposite, it’s an anti-agent. Salt should only be incorporated in the dough towards the final stages of it
Proofing: YES IT REQUIRES PATIENCE! You need to find a warm place, a Switched Off oven is the best place to proof your bread. In areas where it’s generally cold or during Winters, it will take longer to proof say about a little bit more than an hour. But during Warm Climate or/and Humid Weather, it will take relatively shorter, close to around 40 minutes.
Enough about yeast! All I am saying is it’s nothing to be scared about. If you want to learn more about the rising agent, click here to take you to Yeast 101.
A brioche is a very rich dough. It’s made with eggs, sugar, milk and yeast as mentioned above. This dough churns out breads which are soft and fluffy, that’s what I am looking for here. A pillow like rich bread! But it needs attention and proofing a bit more than the lean dough. Ideally, you can: Try making the dough a night before and refrigerate it in the fridge (in a bowl, cling wrapped). In the morning, keep it out for 30 minutes and then punch it before second proofing of 1 hour, this will guarantee better results for any recipe using brioche dough.
This dough asks you to divide the dough in pieces of 3 or 8 for a better texture and feel. More about it can be found written below.
Braiding the Babka
If you’re new to babka, here’s how you can braid your loaf into a traditional babka. Once your dough has gone through its first proof, flatten it out using a rolling pin. Flatten it, till it’s really thin (not an issue if it tears a bit from the middle). Add your toppings on the flattened dough.
Next, you would need to roll each part into a tight log from right to the left. Once done, cut the log in half will give you two logs. Take the right log and put it on top of left and then the left over right, keep braiding till both are braided together. Pinch and combine both the ends of the babka so it’s completely closed and tucked in.
The Flour Used
This bread was made using TwF Flour, Series C Flour. The C8318 is my go-to flour for brioche doughs and babka’s. It’s unbleached and crafter for rich dough flour, gave me a lot more stretchability to work with and made my bread super soft. Here’s the link to it:
- Stand Mixer
- Weighing Scale
- Dough Cutter
- 8.5*4.5 Inch Loaf Pan
- 5 g Active Dry Yeast2-3 1 3 tbsp Caster Sugar1 tsp ½ cup softened2 cups 1 tsp
- 2-3 Eggs large-medium
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 tbsp Caster Sugar
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter
- 2 cups + 1 tbsp TwF Flour Series C 8318 or All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- ½ cup Strawberry Jam
- Begin by adding yeast, sugar and milk in a bowl or to your stand mixer bowl. Give it a good mix and leave it to bloom for 10 minutes.
- Once frothy, add in the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla extract. Whisk together till they combine. Next, add in the Flour and Salt.
- Combine well. With a hook attachment, start kneading the dough. Once combined (after 5 minutes) - add in the butter in batches of 4.
- Giving at least a minute for each batch to combine well before adding in the next. After adding all the butter, scrape down the sides and bottom, and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes more, at a speed of 6 until it's fully combined.
- If you are kneading by hand, it can take upto 10 minutes. The dough would be glossy but not sticky. Take out the dough on a lightly floured surface and stretch the dough - combine well to form a round ball. Leave it in the bowl to rise for an hour.
- After an hour, punch down the dough to deflate it. Repeat the stretch and fold method and make the round ball again. Keep it in a new bowl - cling wrapped in the fridge for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator.
- After leaving the dough overnight, take out the bowl, and leave it outside for 1-2 hours. Once your dough has proofed, flatten it out using a rolling pin. You may use dry flour to help flatten the dough out. Flatten it, till it's really thin (not an issue if it tears a bit from the middle). It should be about ½ inch from the edges.
- Spread straberry jam babka over the entire dough, be generous with it. Roll the right side towards the left, like a log. Layers will start forming.
- Cut the log in half will give you two logs. Take the right log and put it on top of left and then the left over right, keep braiding till both are braided together. Pinch and combine both the ends of the babka so it's completely closed and tucked in.
- Pick up the dough and put in a well oiled loaf tin and leave it to rest for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C when you feel like it's almost done. Brush the top and edges of the dough with an Egg Yolk mixture (just a bit).
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Keep checking at this point. Every Oven works differently. You might need to cover the babka with foil if you feel like its browning way too fast! Allow it to cool slightly before removing it from the pan.
Someone once rightly said “a recipe has no soul, you must bring soul to the recipe”, so here I am, trying to bring my passion for food into easy to make recipes from around the world.
My name is Sohail Nath and I welcome you to my happy place, @boy.eatsworld.
This blog, my creativity’s nest covers travel inspirations, authentic yet homemade recipe and food blogs.