Famous Babka bread, but made in a savory way.
- 400 g bread flour
- 2 g salt
- 3 g instant yeast
- 60 ml water
- 2 g sugar
- 95 ml milk
- 1 egg
- 60 g butter
- 60 g butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp milk
- Mixing bowl
- Baking tray
- Kitchen brush
- Rolling pin
- Garlic press
- Small sauce pan
- Small spatula
I've been seeing pictures of beautiful Babka sweetbreads for a while now, and every time, I think that most probably our traditional Romanian sweet bread has some of its origins linked to this recipe.
Of course, I cannot say that precisely because I didn't make the original version and haven't studied it too much. But I promise I will document myself and return with the sweet dish and discuss more on the topic.
Now, as the title suggests, I took this very famous recipe and turned it into a savory one, which happens to be the best garlic bread I've ever tasted. Due to the butter filling, it ended up having a puff pastry texture and taste. Yes, that good. So let's see how you can make yourself a loaf of perfect garlicky goodness.
- The first thing you will need to do is to mix the yeast with the sugar and one tbsp of water in a small bowl. Cover and leave it to rest for 5 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk and the butter on medium heat until the butter is completely melted.
- Take a large enough mixing bowl. Add 250 g flour, salt, and egg. Slowly pour in the hot liquid. Mix everything to cool down and then add the yeast mixture.
- Start kneading and add more flour as you go. The type of flour is very important for the final quantity. If it's a wet flour, you will use up to 400 grams. It is a drier one, you will only need 300 g.
- Knead for 10-15 minutes until you get a very fluffy and elastic dough.
- Put the dough in the bowl, cover it and leave it to prove for one hour and a half.
- Even though there is still time before you actually prepare the filling, I recommend taking the butter out of the fridge and leaving it at room temperature for one and a half hours.
- After this period, mix the very soft butter with minced garlic, finely chopped parsley, and the seeds.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and start rolling it out on a clean surface.
- You want to have a rectangular shape of 2-3 mm thick.
- Using a small spatula, spread the filling throughout the dough.
- When all the filling is spread equally on the dough's surface, start making a roll out of the dough.
- When you have a compact roll, take a sharp knife and cut it lengthwise.
- Take the two halves and form a very simple braid.
- Spread some semolina in a baking tray (not necessary but recommended). Bring the braided bread to the tray and cover it with a clean tea towel. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Mix the egg white with a splash of milk and gently cover the bread with this egg wash.
- Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven at 180°C (350 F).
- When ready, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before eating it.
So, as I said at the beginning of this article, traditionally, Babka is a sweet bread and not a savory one. It has a Jewish origin, yet it is not an Israeli recipe but an Eastern European one. More precisely, its appearance is linked to Poland and Ukraine's Jewish community.
Even though this dish is 2 centuries old, it became famous only after 2010 when Jewish bakeries started serving it in New York. If you taste it once, you will only wonder why it took this fantastic bread so much time to become a thing.
* I haven't developed my personal filling for the sweet version, but if you want to give it a try, go with a chocolate, nutty one such as Nutella.
** If you don't have sunflower seeds or simply don't like them, you can always substitute them or leave them out altogether.
Nutrition Facts / Serving
- Calories 595
- Total Fat 23 g
- Cholesterol 41 mg
- Sodium 238 mg
- Potassium 633 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 78 g
- Sugars 2 g
- Protein 16 g