Saturday 26 November 2016

Savoury Babka

It's been a long, long time since I've done a savoury... I have done a couple of "unlisted" bakes, mainly for bake sales, or to actually feed people, but nothing documented and photo'ed. After a bit of thinking, I decided to do a savoury version of a babka. I first did one of these as a timed challenge during GBBO, but I've not really thought about it since.

I whipped up some volumes and weights for a "standard" loaf, something I've self-defined as 500g of flour, and then went for a nice simple filling of onion, and some leftovers in the store cupboard. I wanted to get a better, more even twist on the loaf this time, and also attempt to knot it to avoid use of a tin. Really happy with the final result, though I'd love to know how to stop bits of filling getting burnt on the outside...Maybe a lower temperature for longer?

To speed up the proving, get all the ingredients for the dough to room temperature, especially the eggs and butter (you're going to warm up the milk).

Savoury Babka - Recipe

Dough Ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 12g fast-action yeast
  • 200ml full-fat milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10g salt
  • 80g butter
1) Put the milk in a microwavable jug, and heat for ~30 seconds. You want it to be at about 35'C (use a temperature probe to check)

2) Stir the yeast into the milk, using a fork. Leave it to develop while you prepare the rest of the ingredients

3) Put the flour and salt into a stand mixer bowl, with the dough hook attached.

4) Add the milk and eggs into the flour, and mix for 2 minutes until all combined.

5) While continuing to mix, slowly add the butter until it is all in and combined.

6) Mix on medium speed for 8 minutes

7) Remove the dough, and place in an oiled, covered bowl. Place somewhere warm for ~2 hours to prove (until doubled in size)

8) While the dough is proving, prepare the filling

Filling Ingredients

  • 400g onion (approximately 2½ large onions)
  • 30g dried mushroom
  • 50g dried sun-dried tomato
  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 30g butter
  • 10g soft brown sugar
  • 2tbsp sherry vinegar
  • Salt
  • Dried parsley
1) Finely chop the onion

2) Place the oil and butter in  large frying pan over a medium heat

3) Add the onion to the pan with the sugar, and fry/stir for ~15 minutes, until golden and caramelised.

4) Chop and add the mushroom and tomato, and cook for another 5 minutes

5) Stir in the parsley and salt

6) Stir in the sherry vinegar, then remove from the heat and leave to cool



  • 1 beaten egg
  • Sesame seeds (to decorate)
1) Take the proved dough, knock back, then roll out to a long rectangle about 20cm deep, and ~60-70cm long

2) Evenly spread the onion mixture over the rectangle

3) Roll tightly into a long sausage, with the filling inside. Ensure it is tight and evenly rolled.

4) Cut the sausage in half lengthwise, creating 2 semi-circular sections

5) Place these sections back-to-back, and then twist together, with the filling showing to the outside

6) Form a know with the twist, and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment

7) Cover, and place somewhere warm for~1 hour to prove

8) Pre-heat the oven to 200'C

9) Once proved, brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sesame seeds

10) Place in the oven, and pour ~½ litre of water into a pan at the bottom of the oven

11) Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the bread is golden

12) Remove to a wire rack to cool.