Babka, but make it with Vegemite.
I am so excited to share my latest recipe with you, my Vegemite Babka! For those of you who don't know, babka is a sweet braided bread which originated in the Jewish communities of Poland and Ukraine. It's usually enjoyed at breakfast or for dessert, and cinnamon, chocolate and Nutella is by far the most popular addition to this wonderful bread.
Over time there have literally been thousands of sweet and savoury iterations, however I wanted to give this beautifully traditional babka my own spin. We had just bought a new jar of Vegemite and it was on the same day I decided to bake my babka. I was going to combine Nutella and cinnamon, but on a crazy last minute whim, I decided to use Vegemite. But I didn't stop there. I wanted to pay homage to the traditional babka and added a delicious, classic streusel on top, which is a buttery, sugary, flour crumb that you would find on an apple pie or an apple crumble.
Breakfast / Dessert
2 hours 5 minutes
Babka, but make it with Vegemite.
I am so excited to share my latest recipe with you, my Vegemite Babka! I honestly can't express in words how decadent, and delicious, and complex this Vegemite Babka tastes.
The beautiful swirls of Vegemite mixed with the buttery crumb is like nothing I've ever tasted before - it's sweet, it's savoury, it's insanely delicious and addictive.
It's the perfect recipe to make on a rainy day, or when you're stuck at home, or when you want to enjoy a slow day of baking (my favourite kind of day).
1 cup full cream milk
2 tbsp full cream milk
1 sachet instant dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing. I used my favourite butter for this recipe, by Pepe Saya.
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt (I always use Maldon Sea Salt, which you can get from Coles)
4 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling your dough
Olive oil sp400g
400g Vegemite, divided into 2
TIP: You are also more than welcome to use less Vegemite if you'd like! If you want to use less, I'd aim for 200g (which is 100g per babka). You don't want to use too little, otherwise you won't taste the Vegemite once is bakes in the Babka. Just see how it spreads and add more, or scrap it off. Have fun with it!
1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch flaky sea salt
50g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
We're going to start this recipe by making the streusel. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients - sugars, flour and salt.
Add the pieces of cold butter into the bowl and use your fingers break the butter into the mixture until it is the texture of coarse meal. You want to be able to see chunks of buttery sugar/flour.
Store in an airtight container and leave in the fridge.
Now we are going to make the dough. Heat 1 cup milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. You want it to feel warm to touch, not hot.
Pour the milk into the bowl of your stand mixer, which should be fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add one sachet of yeast and whisk with a fork, and 2 tsp white sugar (from your 1 cup of sugar). Cover the bowl with a tea towel and wait 5 minutes for the mixture to appear foamy.
On low speed, beat in the remaining sugar (from your 1 cup of sugar) and the butter until butter is slightly broken up. Because the butter is mixing with liquid of different temperatures, it won't be mixing in so don't worry if the butter looks clumpy.
Beat 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk (make sure you reserve the egg white as you will need this to brush the babka with when you're ready to bake it) and the salt.
On low speed, gradually add the flour 1 cup at a time. When the flour is nearly incorporated, add the next cup of flour. You don't want to over beat your dough, which I have done in the past.
When all of the flour is added, beat the dough on medium speed for approximately 1 minute.
Increase speed to medium-high, and continue beating for about another 5 minutes until the dough is soft and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you do not have a stand-mixer, knead the dough by hand in this step.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Spray a bowl with olive oil, place the dough ball into the bowl and turn it over until the entire surface is lightly covered in olive oil.
Cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap and set aside in a warm spot (not direct sunlight) for about 90 minutes or until it doubles in size.
TIP: If you are baking this babka on a cool day, preheat the oven to 90C, turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm oven. Leave the oven door cracked a bit.
Once the dough has doubled in size, take the cling wrap off and punch it down to release the air. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Take one piece of the dough you want to work with, and leave a tea towel over the dough you aren’t working with.
Generously grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans with butter.
Roll out the first piece of dough into a rectangle and instead of me telling you how to shape the babka, you can watch this video. Swap the Nutella for Vegemite - put half the Vegemite onto one babka, and half on the second babka. It makes shaping a babka so easy to understand! When you have shaped your first bit of dough, pop it in one of your greased loaf pans. Cover it tightly with cling wrap and set aside to prove again for another 20 mins or so.
TIP: You may need to cut the ends off (depending how long your babka is) before placing it into the loaf tin.
Preheat your oven to 180C.
Repeat step 15 with your second bit of dough.
When both babkas have doubled in size in their loaf pans, take the cling wrap off and brush the exposed Vegemite on top with the leftover egg white.
Take your streusel out of the fridge and sprinkle over the rest of the babka, but leave the Vegemite naked and exposed from any streusel.
Bake both babka's for approximately 45 minutes or until babka is deliciously golden on top.
Remove the babka's from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool down for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
Slice or tear apart, and enjoy while it's still warm on it's own or with a lashing of salted butter. If you don't finish it all, you can store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
An extra tip!
I had leftover Vegemite Babka dough from cutting the ends off so it could fit into my loaf tins, so I decided to cut the dough into 3 inch pieces and cook them in a muffin tin like little scrolls with leftover streusel on top.
I have popped them in the freezer for storing and quickly thaw them in the microwave on high for 45 seconds to give to Dusty as a snack. He loves them!
If you make this Vegemite Babka, or any other recipes on here, remember to tag me on Instagram @smorkitchen #smorkitchen. I love seeing what you make!
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