Babka is sweet braided bread from the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. The blueberry and feta balance the sweetness with a nice tangy zing.
Yield: 450g loaf
For the Dough
- Wheat Flour - 2 ¼ Cups
- Instant yeast – 1 ¼ tsp
- Sugar – ¼ cup
- Water/ Milk – ¼ cup
- Butter – 5 tbsps.
- Egg – 2pcs
- Dusting Flour
For the filling
- Blueberry - 2 cups
- Sugar – ½ cup
- Lemon juice - 2 tbsps.
- Sirimon Feta Cheese - 2/3 cups
- Water – ¼ cup
- Vanilla essence – ½ tsp
For the syrup
- Water – ¼ cup
- Sugar - ½ cup
1. Dough: Whisk flour, sugar, yeast in a bowl
2. Mix egg, milk/water and salt in a separate bowl. Add this mixture to the one above 2 tbsps at a time until a combine dough forms this takes about 2 minutes
3. Add softened butter a tbsp. at a time and keep kneading the dough. Wait until the butter is fully mixed in before adding more. This takes about 10 mins. The dough will be sticky but stretchy.
4. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl and seal it airtight with cling film and wait for it to rise. This is enriched dough therefore it will not double in size. This should take 45 mins to 90 mins depending on your climate. For a richer flavor leave in the fridge overnight.
5. Filling: in a saucepan add sugar and simmer in low heat. When the sugar has completely melted add the lemon juice and water and bring to another simmer.
6. Add the blueberries and cook until mashed then add grated Feta cheese and stir until it melts.
7. Add vanilla essence to seal the pungent smell and blend the mixture until smooth and cool it in the fridge. As it cools it thickens to a spreadable consistency.
8. By now your dough is ready, roll it out on a dusted surface in a rectangular shape.
9. Spread butter on the dough with a bread knife then spread the blueberry feta filling leaving about an inch of the width (short side of the rectangle) with no filling
10. Roll the dough width wise and then slice it in the middle length wise
11. Form an X with the sliced dough and braid upwards and downwards. Don’t panic if it gets messy.
12. Tuck in the ends and place in a greased bread tin and leave it to rise for 20-30mins. During the final proofing (rising) pre heat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius
13. Bake at 170 C for 40 mins. When the babka is baked, drench it in simple syrup (water + sugar) and let it cool.
Serve with natural yogurt.