The Whole Foods Kosher kitchen

Cheese Babka Recipe

Posted on 23rd of May, 2012 by Lévana

Cheese-Babka

Let me tell you flat out: You won’t get this treat in any New York Bakery. The ricotta filling is wonderful, but you might prefer to use it in combination with farmer cheese, just as long as you use 2 cups total. This will make you 2 loaves, but here’s my trick to simplify the rolling. I make one double-length roll, and cut it right down the center to make 2 loaves. If you choose note to use the crumb topping, all you will need to do is brush the top with egg wash (egg mixed with a little water)

Hint: This is what makes my babka and all my yeasted preparations so light: I resist with a vengeance adding flour to the dough, unless I absolutely have to. you will find that if you knead the dough properly, by hand or by machine, the dough shapes up without any added flour and yields a light an airy pastry.

Dough:

1 ½ tablespoons dry yeast

1/3 cup warm water

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups flour: all purpose, whole wheat pastry or spelt

1/2 cup unsalted butter (not whipped)

2/3 cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

 

Filling:

2 cups ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons lemon zest

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ cup sugar

1 egg

 

Topping:

1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature

¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar

 

Instructions:
Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl, and let the mixture bubble 2-3 minutes. Stir in the remaining dough ingredients. Transfer the mixture to your dough maker and knead 10 minutes, or knead by hand, turning the dough occasionally to make sure all sides have been worked. Soon the dough will get into shape, elastic and resilient when poked with a finger. Sprinkle the dough very lightly with flour all over, place in  a large bowl (remember, it will expand to a little more than double in size) Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm draft-free place one hour.

Roll out on a very lightly floured counter, into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle.  Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl, and spread all over the dough, using it all up. starting from the short side, roll tightly jelly-roll style. you will end up with a 12 inch log. Cut it right down the middle, to get 2 6-inch logs. Transfer to a 2 greased loaf pans, seam side down. Mix the topping ingredients lightly, adding a drop of flour if necessary, to get the texture of coarse meal. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the loaves. Let them rise about ½ hour. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 35 to 40 minutes, or a few more minutes, until golden.

Filed under: Babka Recipes, Dairy Recipes, Dessert Recipes, Jewish Holiday Recipes, Jewish Recipes, Shavouot Recipes, Yeasted Pastry Recipes

18 Responses

  1. susan, on Said:

    HI LEVANA – CANT WAIT TO GO HOME AND TRY TO MAKE IT FOR SHAVUOT – ONE CORRECTION – IN YOUR “hint” the word need should be KNEAD – thanks again for what will probably be a favorite!! chag sameach

    Reply
  2. Yudit, on Said:

    Hi Levana I am so looking forward to making this for shavuous! If I don’t have butter and I use margarine will it come out the same?

    Reply
    • Lévana, on Said:

      Since this is a decidedly dairy treat, it would be well worth buying butter for it: it will taste more delicious

  3. dena heller, on Said:

    Loved this recipe
    it did not make it to shavout it was gone erev shabbat
    thanks
    dena

    Reply
    • Lévana, on Said:

      :-))) yes that’s a common good problem with yeast pastries, especially the delicious ones!

  4. Rosalie, on Said:

    I tried to make this recipe and my yeast wouldnt rise. I’ve made many yeast products and never saw such a large amount of sugar used to get the yeast to rise. Could you tell me what I’m missing in understanding your directions? Thanks so much.

    Reply
    • Lévana, on Said:

      Rosalie the sum total of the sugar used is very low. It doesn’t matter how the sugar is distributed between the dough and the filling, this is still a very low sugar total. So the sugar is not the culprit here. I must tell you, this recipe is tried and true. AS always with all yeast doughs, please be patient, practice makes perfect. You’ll look like a pro very soon. Make sure your dough rises in a warm place, away from drafts, covered, etc…. All these hints with yeast dough, I have no doubt you are familiar with, but just in case….

  5. Sima, on Said:

    Just looking at it now…. I remember making it last for Shavuos: it was divine!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  6. chanie, on Said:

    so my problem is that i do not live in an area where i can purchase chalov yisroel ricotta cheese or farmer cheese. i do have low fat cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream. Any way i can sub what i have for what i would need for this recipe or any of the other recipes requiring ricotta or farmer cheese? chag samaiach!

    Reply
    • Lévana, on Said:

      Chanie just play with what the dairy products you have, until you get a nice filling: Cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream, that will do the trick:-)

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