HI GUYS. I’m going to be real with you. I feel a little weird calling this a babka. I set out with all the good intentions of giving you a gorgeous swirly strawberry babka loaf…but best intentions, ya know? The filling was running everywhere, my patience gave out, I braided up my babka with less finesse than I care to admit, and left my whole kitchen covered in strawberry filling (it looked like a crime scene. A tasty crime scene.) So, it doesn’t exactly have those gorgeous swirls of a babka BUT it is the tastiest darn thing. Perfect for a summer brunch, or in my case, dinner for the next two nights. Maybe a more adept name for this is something along the lines of “Real Messy, But Really Delicious Strawberry Loaf”. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? Wait…maybe this is a FAUXBKA? Yes, definitely – Strawberry Fauxbka with Lemon Glaze.
Before we rip into our Fauxbka, here are some things I think you should know about:
Next year, Vermont is going to offer people mad scrilla ($$$) to move here, and work remotely for their current company. WHAT. wait. I moved here too soon???? So I guess if you can stand the North Pole vibes 8 months out of the year and work remotely, you should definitely move to Vermont in 2019.
Have you seen the “new” (I use the “” because it’s probably been on Netflix for at least a year and I’m just watching it) Ali Wong special on Netflix. My belly hurt from laughing so much (or maybe that was from eating this whole loaf of babka). Either way, watch it now. Better yet, watch it while your babka dough is proofing.
Also, you should know that I photographed this Strawberry Babka in our front office/entry way/catch all room, next to our
smelly shoe rack, using our vacuum to prop up my bounce board. Keepin’ it real around here folks.
If you’ve been around these parts before, you’ll probably notice this recipe is basically my regular ol’ brioche dough with a few upgrades:
BUTTERMILK – because it pairs oh so nicely with strawberries
MORE FLOUR – yes, this dough requires a bit of a sturdier build because the filling is so gooey.
FRESH STRAWBERRY FILLING – strawberry season is finally upon us in Vermont!! I love love love the fresh summer vibes these strawberries bring to this babka – they make it perfect for breakfast, snack time or dessert!
Strawberry Babka with Lemon Glaze
what you’ll need
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (300g) + about 1/4 cup more when rolling out
1/4 cup white cane sugar (55g) + 1 teaspoon for yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 dry active yeast packet (2 1/4 tsp)
2 eggs + 1 yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup warm milk + 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons white cane sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
juice + zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered confectionary sugar
how to whip it up:
Get your yeast going by gently stirring the yeast into the 1/4 cup warm milk plus 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let it activate for 5 minutes.
While the yeast is getting yeasty, in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, gently whirl the dry ingredients (flour, sugar and salt). Then add eggs and butter (don’t forget the extra egg yolk here!). Mix until mostly combined, then add yeast milk mixture. With your stand mixer set to a medium slow speed, let it knead the dough for 5 minutes. Your dough should be smooth, elastic and slightly sticky. Once dough has reached this point, cover with a damp towel, place in a warm sunny spot and let rise until double (usually 2-3 hours) OR you can stick that bad boy right in the fridge to do a slow rise overnight and have fresh strawberry babka in the morning. Choose your own adventure.
While the dough is proofing, whip up your filling. In a small sauce pan over medium, heat your strawberries until they’re nice and juicy. Let them reduce for 6-8 minutes then add in sugar and corn starch. Stir until dissolved and thickened. Off heat and let cool before using.
Place a bit of wax paper or parchment on your countertop, this will help contain the mess and keep your dough from sticking horribly to the counter. Sprinkle a little flour on the paper, then place dough on top. Pour remaining 1/4 cup of flour onto dough, knead in flour and roll out into 10×12 inch rectangle. Spread filling all over, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges bare. Roll up jelly roll style, cut down the middle and twist the two halves together. Over under over under and then pinch the ends together (no idea what I mean? Check out my other babka post for an illustration). Place loaf into a parchment lined 9×5 bread pan. Let rise for another 30 minutes, or until just barely doubled in size again.
To make the lemon glaze, juice and zest 1/2 lemon. Mix with powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and runny.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. Top should be golden brown and tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool on rack, drizzle with lemon glaze and then eat it by the torn off handful. Or slice it and smear on some extra strawberry filling. Choose your own adventure.
Yields 1 9×5 loaf, will keep at room temperate 4 days or in the fridge up to 1 week. But most likely you’re going to eat the whole dang thing while its still piping hot.