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Cheese and onion babka


Makes: 8-10 slices
timePrep time: 40 mins
timeTotal time:
Cheese and onion babka
Recipe photograph by Ant Duncan

Cheese and onion babka

With soft herby cheese swirled through an enriched bread dough, this savoury babka is delicious toasted with butter

Makes: 8-10 slices
timePrep time: 40 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
353Kcal
Fat
21gr
Saturates
11gr
Carbs
30gr
Sugars
4gr
Fibre
2gr
Protein
11gr
Salt
1.2gr

Ingredients

  • 80g butter
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 275g strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • oil to grease
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
For the filling
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp snipped chives
  • 50g Gruyère or cheddar, finely grated - use vegetarian cheese if required
  • 200g full-fat soft cheese

Step by step

Get ahead
Prep to the end of step 5; chill overnight. Remove from the fridge 1 hr before baking. Leftovers will keep until the following day; reheat in a medium oven to refresh.
  1. Start with the dough. Melt the butter in a small pan, remove from the heat and add the milk. Beat 2 of the eggs and pour in the just-warm milk and butter mixture. In a large bowl, or stand mixer with a dough hook, mix together the bread flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Pour in the liquid ingredients and bring together into a dough.
  2. Knead for 10-15 minutes by hand, or 7 minutes if using a stand mixer, until the dough is smooth, slightly sticky and elastic. Put in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 1½-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. For the filling, gently fry the shallots and garlic in the olive oil for 8-10 minutes until softened. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool, then stir in the chives and grated and soft cheese. Season well. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin (10cm x 20cm base) with baking paper.
  4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle roughly 25cm x 35cm. Spread the filling all over the dough. Roll up tightly from the longer side, like a swiss roll. Carefully wrap in baking paper, twisting the ends to secure, then chill for 30 minutes to firm up.
  5. Unwrap the chilled dough, cut in half lengthways and turn each piece so the filling is facing upwards. Pinch the two pieces together at one end and twist to braid together, then pinch at the other end to secure. Gently push the two ends towards each other to make the loaf more compact. Carefully ease it into the prepared loaf tin (it will seem too big but it will fit). Cover and leave in a warm place to prove for 1 hour, or until the dough is risen. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5.
  6. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the top of the loaf, then sprinkle with the seeds. Bake for 15 minutes initially then reduce the heat to 170°C, fan 150°C, gas 3 and cook for a further 25-30 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.

     

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