Cheese Babka is a Polish bread traditionally made for Easter. This loaf is filled with cream cheese and brightened with lemon zest.
As many of you know, one of my goals is to learn more about baking and cooking. Bread is one of those things that I wanted to learn more about. I love baking bread, but there are some very technical aspects to baking bread that I have yet to master. I was pretty excited to try this Cheese Babka.
With Easter, I wanted to find a bread that would work on my table. I went online and started investigating “holiday breads”. The recipe that I decided to make was called Cheese Babka and it said that it was a Polish bread traditionally made for Easter.
This recipe exceeded my expectations. It has a sweetened cream cheese filling flavored with lemon zest. The crumb was moist as was the crust. It’s baked in a bundt pan and is so pretty and stands tall when it’s popped from the pan.
I learned a few things when I made this bread. After you spread the filling over the dough, the recipe has you roll the bread into a log and then twist it into a rope. I was a bit nervous doing this because I didn’t want all of my filling to squish out. I ended up twisting the bottom a bit tighter than the top. The result was that I didn’t lose the filling but there was a gap where the filling met the dough in the end that was rolled loosely.
I made a few changes to the ingredients. The recipe calls for farmers cheese and I substituted cream cheese. It also called for dried lemon peel. I used fresh, and can’t imagine doing it any other way. I will definitely use this technique again. This bread is delicious!
Cheese Babka – #TwelveLoaves
- 1 .25 ounce package active dry yeast
- 1 pinch white sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water 110 degrees F
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 3 eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour divided
- 1 1/2 cups farmers cheese or cream cheese
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel I used fresh
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- In a small bowl sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over the warm water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Combine the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, milk,eggs and 1 cup of flour and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Gradually add remaining flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a round and place it in a large greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with a plastic dough and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled, approximately 1-1/2 hours.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the farmers' cheese, sugar, sour cream, egg, vanilla extract and lemon peel. Beat together until smooth. Set aside. Lightly oil a bundt pan.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Spread the 2 tablespoons over the surface of the dough and then the cheese over the butter. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, starting from the long end; twist the dough 6 to 8 times to form a rope. Pinch the seams and ends closed and arrange the rope of dough in the greased pan. Cover loosely and let rise, 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes; invert onto a wire rack and remove the pan. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.
Prep time includes inactive time.
Our host this month is Robin from A Shaggy Dough Story, and our theme is CHEESE. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves enter last month’s Italian Breads!
- Buttermilk Goat Cheese Biscuits from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Casatiello from Cake Duchess
- Cheddar Chive Bread from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Cheddar Dill Twists from blackberry eating in late september
- Cheese Babka from Hostess At Heart
- Cheese Soda bread from Ma che ti sei mangiato
- Cream Cheese and Cherry Buns from girlichef
- Feta & Olive Swirls from The Bread She Bakes
- Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread) from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Pimento Cheese Straws from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your CHEESE bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!
This recipe is also making it’s way to Fiesta Friday now with its own website! We have Angie of The Novice Gardener and her co-hosts Julianna @Foodie On Board and Hilda @Along The Grapevine running the show this week!