A savory twist to the sweet babka, this Savoury babka is bursting with flavors from spicy Coriander Chutney, tangy and salty Feta, and sweet-tart flavor from Sun-dried Tomatoes.
What is Babka
Babka is a sweet braided bread or cake which originated in the Jewish Communities. It is prepared with a yeast-leavened dough that is rolled out and filled with cinnamon or fruit jam. The dough is then rolled out along with the filling, braided, and then baked.
Babka also drastically differs from country to country. I am not detailing that here and there are many articles on the net for you to read.
Fillings used in Babka
Chocolate started to make its appearance in the filling in the mid-20th century. It is believed to be an American development. (Source Wiki). In addition to chocolate fillings, poppy seeds, cheese, and almond paste fillings babka were made with Streusel toppings.
As with everything, fusion and recipe changes are bound to happen with time. Nutella, apple, cheesecake, and savory fillings with cheese, herbs, and spices were introduced in babka.
Dough for babka
Babka was originally made with leftover challah dough. The leftover dough was sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, rolled, braided, and baked. I have used my Eggless Challah Dough for the recipe. The recipe is Vegan though challah dough is enriched with eggs, I do make a vegan version of challah.
Sweet fillings for Babka
I would never mind a chocolate bread. However, too much sweet at times does not work. I was in no mood to eat another sweet bread or chocolate-laden bread. Yes, I need to watch my calories too. Though, I am very much inclined to make a chocolate babka soon.
If you want to make a sweet or chocolate babka, you can add melted chocolate, Nutella, Peanut butter, fruits, sweet dried fruits, etc. The possibilities are endless, just use your imagination and go for it.
Think savory fillings and you have an array of ideas. Any type of chutney, pesto, veggies, or cheese can be added to a savory babka. At one point I was thinking of simple coriander chutney and paneer (Indian Cheese) filling. But paneer on its own does not have a taste and hence I decided to replace it with Feta cheese. I wanted to add a little balance to the spicy coriander chutney and hence I added some sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes add a slightly sweetish taste to the filling.
One such similar recipe is this Pumpkin Nasturtium Cheese Bread, where I have used fresh homemade pumpkin puree in the dough and filled the bread with peppery Nasturtium and cheese. A delicious and addictive pull-apart breakfast bread.
Ingredients used for dough in savoury babka
I have used all-purpose flour or plain flour or maida for this. One can replace it with whole wheat flour. The texture of whole wheat flour will differ.
Sugar, yeast, water
To activate the yeast.
Lukewarm water is being used for the dough
Olive oil is being as the fat. One can replace it with any flavorless oil or one can even replace it with butter.
Milk is used for brushing the top of the bread. This gives it a nice golden color.
Butter is used for brushing the top of the bread once it is baked. This helps the bread to be moist. One can brush it with oil or just leave it as is.
Fillings used in Savoury Babka
This gives a nice base to the bread as well as adds a spicy contrast to the slightly sweet bread. This can be replaced with any pesto or even be skipped.
Gives a nice salty and a tangy taste to the bread. One can replace this with Paneer, Mozzarella cheese, or Cheddar Cheese.
Balances the spicy chutney as well as gives a crunch in addition to the sweet and tart taste of tomatoes.
Black and White Sesame seeds
It is completely optional. I added it as it gives a nice appearance to the bread. It is just used as a topping.
This bread is good as is. It does not need any spreads or anything at all. Best enjoyed when slightly warm with a cuppa.
Shelf life of Savoury Babka
This savory babka stays good at room temperature for 3-4 days. If you are living in a hot and humid climate, it is best to keep it refrigerated.
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Savoury Babka with Sun-dried Tomato, Feta, and Coriander Chutney
- 3.5 cup 450 grams All-purpose Flour / Maida / Plain Flour
- 1/4 cup 125 grams plus 1/4 tsp Sugar
- 1/4 cup 50 ml Oil (Vegetable or Canola)
- 1 cup 236 ml lukewarm water
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Extra flour for dusting
To activate yeast
- 2 1/4 tsp 1 packet Active Dry yeast or Instant Yeast
- ¼ tsp Sugar
- ¼ Cup 60 ml of lukewarm water
- Milk (Optional) Maple Syrup for an egg-free shine (I used Milk – Vegans can use any vegan milk)
- 1 cup 200 grams Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 4-5 Slices of Sun-Dried Tomatoes cut into small pieces
- 5-6 tablespoons Coriander Chutney
- 1 tablespoon mixed Black and White Sesame seeds Optional
Activating the yeast
- In a bowl add the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water.2 1/4 tsp 1 packet, ¼ tsp Sugar, ¼ Cup 60 ml of lukewarm water
- Mix it thoroughly.
- Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- This will activate the yeast.
Making the dough
- Once the yeast mixture is activated. In a wide bowl or the bowl of your electric stand mixer add the flour.3.5 cup 450 grams All-purpose Flour / Maida / Plain Flour
- Add salt, and sugar and mix thoroughly.1/2 tsp Salt, 1/4 cup 125 grams plus 1/4 tsp Sugar
- Now add the yeast mixture, water, oil and salt.1/4 cup 50 ml Oil (Vegetable or Canola), 1/2 tsp Salt
- Mix and start kneading it on slow.
- If doing by hands, start mixing and kneading the dough and form a ball shape
- Once the dough is mixed start increasing the speed and kneading the dough.
- Continue kneading on the dough by hand or by keeping on increasing the speed for 5-7 minutes.
- The dough is done when it comes all together and has an elastic texture.
- Shape it into a ball form and oil the dough lightly.
- Grease a wide bowl and let the dough rest for 1 to 1.5 hours until double in size.
Shaping and filling the Babka
- Once the dough is double in size, knead the dough again with your hand to release all the air.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
- Dust your working surface with some flour.
- Roll one dough thinly around ½ a cm in width.
- Roll it into a rough rectangle shape.
- Spread the coriander chutney on the rolled dough, leaving 1-2 cms along all the edges.5-6 tablespoons Coriander Chutney
- Spread the crumbled feta cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes all over the dough spreading it evenly.1 cup 200 grams Crumbled Feta Cheese, 4-5 Slices of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Start rolling the dough into a log and keep sealing it from the ends.
- Once the dough is rolled completely, seal the dough from another end.
- Keep the dough refrigerated for 15-30 minutes. One can even keep the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will help to cut the roll evenly and clean it.
- After 15 minutes, cut the dough lengthwise in middle.
- We need many layers while shaping the babka.
- Grab the edges of the rolled log and seal it in one end.
- Twist the haves around each other creating a spiral.
- Press the other ends against each other and seal the edges.
- Carefully place the shaped loaf into a greased loaf tin.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top if using.1 tablespoon mixed Black and White Sesame seeds
- Let the loaf rise in the loaf tin for 1-1.5 hours until double in size.
Preheating the oven and greasing the loaf tin
- Preheat the oven to 180 Deg C.
- Grease the loaf tin with oil or line it with parchment paper.
Baking the Babka
- Once the dough is doubled in size, bake it in a preheated oven for 45 minutes until done.
- After 10 minutes, remove the babka from the loaf tin.
- Let the babka cool down completely on a wire rack.
- Once it is cool down completely, slice and serve.
- Standard US Size Cups and spoons used
- 1 Cup – 180 grams All-purpose Flour / Maida / Plain Flour. Flour measurements can differ depending on the flour texture
- I have generously added the filling, one can reduce as per liking.
Sharing this with
I am sharing this bread with our Bread Bakers group where Kelly Lawson from Passion Kneaded asked us to bake Babka. I am so very happy about this challenge, that I finally baked a babka. Thank you, Kelly.
Do check the different delicious Babka’s from my dear blogger friends
- Baby Babkas from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Chocolate and Pistachio Babka from Passion Kneaded
- Chutney and Paneer Babka from Magical Ingredients
- Cinnamon Blueberry Babka from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Nutella Babka Buns from Sneha’s Recipe
- Peanut Butter Babka Buns from Food Lust People Love
- Pecan Pie Babka from A Messy Kitchen
- Savoury Babka with Sun-dried Tomato, Feta, and Coriander Chutney from Cook with Renu
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
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