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Delicious Raspberry and Blueberry Babka (With Photo Tutorial)

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Baking is one of my favorite pastimes. I enjoy baking cookies, cakes, breads, pies, muffins, cupcakes, and much more.

Sweet and tart raspberry and blueberry babka! It is perfect for a holiday treat.

Sweet and tart raspberry and blueberry babka! It is perfect for a holiday treat.

Delicious Homemade Babka for the Holidays

I have made babka many times for the holidays. Usually, I made chocolate babka, but this year I am opting for a raspberry and blueberry filling.

What Is Babka?

Babka is a sweet braided bread originally from Poland. It starts with a yeasted dough that is rolled out and filled with sweet or savory fillings.

I first discovered babka whilst going through my cookbook in 2017. Based on what I read, it sounded like it might be a tedious process, but I was determined to try it. Since I baked my first, I've made many babkas at home. It gets easier every time.

How Much Time Do You Need?

Every time I share my babka with friends I am asked, "How much time do you need to make a babka, Liza?"

The answer is it can be quicker or slower. I've made it two different ways: dough with a proofing time of about 4-5 hours and dough with a proofing time of 12 hours and more. In my experience, both were equally good. In my opinion, if you want to get the best result, you should focus on the ingredients you use.

A Must-Try Dessert

Having made and perfected babka for years, I would suggest that passionate home bakers try this raspberry and blueberry babka the holidays (or any special occasion). It's rich, buttery, and tarty!

Ingredients

For the yeast mixture:

  • 3/4 cup whole milk, warm
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 5-6 tablespoons all-purpose and bread flour (mixed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 125 grams frozen raspberries
  • 75 grams frozen blueberries
  • 70 grams sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

For the glaze:

  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water, hot
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Step 1: Make the dough

  1. Make the yeast mixture: In a pitcher or bowl, combine the warm milk and yeast. Let the mixture dissolve and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, combine the bread flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and yeast mixture.
  3. Add the butter to the mixture and start mixing at a lower speed for a few minutes.
  4. Continue mixing for ten minutes until the butter is all combined.
  5. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla extract into the wet mixture and continue mixing until it is all combined.
  6. Once all the butter is incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl (and bottom if needed), and knead the dough for a further 5–15 minutes.
  7. Transfer the mixture onto a baking mat to shape the dough into a ball.
  8. Transfer the dough to a greased large bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it sit for 90 minutes or until it doubles in size before chilling the dough in the fridge overnight.

Photo Tutorial: The Dough

In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, combine the bread flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and yeast mixture.

In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, combine the bread flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and yeast mixture.

Add the butter to the mixture and start mixing at a lower speed for a few minutes.

Add the butter to the mixture and start mixing at a lower speed for a few minutes.

Slowly add the eggs and vanilla extract into the wet mixture and continue mixing until it is all combined.

Slowly add the eggs and vanilla extract into the wet mixture and continue mixing until it is all combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom if needed.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom if needed.

Continue kneading the dough for a further 5 – 15 minutes.

Continue kneading the dough for a further 5 – 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture onto a baking mat to shape the dough into a ball.

Transfer the mixture onto a baking mat to shape the dough into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a greased large bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it sit for 90 minutes or until it doubles in size.

Transfer the dough to a greased large bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it sit for 90 minutes or until it doubles in size.

Step 2: Make the Filling

  1. In a small-sized pan, combine the frozen raspberries, blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil whilst constantly stirring.
  3. Taste to make sure the sweetness is enough for your liking. Once the mixture is boiling, turn down the heat to medium-low.
  4. Let the mixture simmer for 10-20 minutes until it is thick and jam-like.
  5. Transfer the filling to a glass container, and let it cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge.

Photo Tutorial: Raspberry and Blueberry Filling

In a small-sized pan, combine the frozen raspberries, blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

In a small-sized pan, combine the frozen raspberries, blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

Bring the mixture to a boil whilst constantly stirring.

Bring the mixture to a boil whilst constantly stirring.

Let the mixture simmer for 10-20 minutes until it is thick and jam-like.

Let the mixture simmer for 10-20 minutes until it is thick and jam-like.

The jam is ready.

The jam is ready.

Transfer the filling to a glass container, and let it cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge.

Transfer the filling to a glass container, and let it cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge.

Step 3: Shape and Bake

  1. The following day, take out the chilled dough and transfer the dough onto a lightly floured counter or dough mat. You will be using the dough while it's chilled, so do not let it come to room temperature before working with it.
  2. Roll out the dough until it’s a rectangle that is about 10 x 15 inches.
  3. Using a spatula or a knife, spread the jam filling in an even layer over the dough.
  4. Starting at the long edge, tightly roll up each dough square jelly-roll style into a tight log.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut the logs in half crosswise.
  6. Set the other halves on top in the opposite direction to form a cross. Twist to form spirals and transfer to the prepared pans.
  7. Cover the loaf with a loose cling wrap or tea towel and let it stand in a warm place until double in size.
  8. Whilst the babka is proofing, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  9. When the babka has been proofed, bake it for about 50-60 minutes. If the surface is browning too fast, place a til foil on the surface to prevent further browning.
  10. The internal temperature of the dough should reach about 190°F when it's done baking.

Photo Tutorial: Assemble and Bake

Roll out the dough until it’s a rectangle that is about 10 x 15 inches.

Roll out the dough until it’s a rectangle that is about 10 x 15 inches.

Using a spatula or a knife, spread the jam filling in an even layer over the dough.

Using a spatula or a knife, spread the jam filling in an even layer over the dough.

Starting at the long edge, tightly roll up each dough square jelly-roll style into a tight log.

Starting at the long edge, tightly roll up each dough square jelly-roll style into a tight log.

The log.

The log.

Using a sharp knife, cut the logs in half crosswise.

Using a sharp knife, cut the logs in half crosswise.

Set the other halves on top in the opposite direction to form a cross. Twist to form spirals.

Set the other halves on top in the opposite direction to form a cross. Twist to form spirals.

Transfer the babka to the prepared pan. Cover with a cling wrap and let it sit at a warm place to rise.

Transfer the babka to the prepared pan. Cover with a cling wrap and let it sit at a warm place to rise.

After two hours, the babka has risen double in size.

After two hours, the babka has risen double in size.

Step 4: Glaze the Babka

Before glazing, I made a clear syrup. In a bowl, combine sugar, lemon juice, and hot water. Stir to combine until the sugar is dissolved.

  1. Remove the pan from the oven, and carefully use a skewer to poke several holes through the loaf from the top.
  2. While hot, brush the babka with the sugar syrup to glaze the top and allow some of the syrup to be absorbed by the babka.

Baker's Notes and Tips

  • Be sure to let your cold ingredients (eggs and butter) come to room temperature.
  • To avoid any mess, I recommend using a stand mixer for kneading this dough. Kneading by hand would be very time-consuming, too.
  • For a perfectly shaped babka, I would recommend the overnight chilling step. It makes the dough easier to handle.
  • Freeze the raspberries and blueberries before making the jam.
  • Once the babka is completely cool, store it in an airtight container. You can keep it in a cool or dry place for about 4–5 days.
  • To keep it for longer, slice the babka and freeze the slices in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 or 4 weeks.
  • To enjoy, toast a slice in the toaster, or microwave for 15-20 seconds (slightly warm).
  • Spread any leftover jam on sliced babka before serving.
  • Enjoy with tea or coffee.

© 2022 Liza