My husband is obsessed with sitcoms, and Seinfeld is definitely on the list. There’s an episode where babka plays a big role, which is one thing I think of when I think of this recipe- “Lesser babka? I think not!”
Anyways, if you don’t watch the show, that was probably nonsense to you. The bigger reason I love babka, though, is that I am carb-obsessed. If you’re here, you probably are too. It’s cool, this is a safe space for us bread lovers.
Basically, babka is typically a sweet number, but today we’re switching it up a bit. Normally you’ve got lots of layers of a dense yeast bread and some kind of gooey chocolate or cinnamon filling, and let me tell you, that version of things is fan-freakin-tastic. But sometimes you need a little bit of savory bread too.
The way this recipe works is by rolling your dough super thin. It rises while baking, so even though the dough feels super delicate while you work on filling and shaping it, the result is perfect.
Since pesto has both olive oil and cheese for moisture, it offers a very similar texture to your traditional babka recipes as well. More importantly, I love pesto.
Baking bread at a high altitude is tough you guys. I get it. Baking in general is much more complicated at altitude, but when you spend hours letting bread rise, and shaping it, and letting it rise again, only to end up with something you don’t want to eat?? It’s suuuper disappointing.
Here’s my biggest tip for bread at a high altitude- watch the dough, not the clock. When I realized I was over-proofing most of my bread doughs, everything got better.
Make the pesto babka. It’ll work, it’ll taste awesome, and it’ll impress you’re friends.
1/2 cup pesto (use whatever you like best here- homemade or jarred)
Butter a large bowl generously, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together 2 1/2 cups bread flour, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
Heat your whole milk in the microwave until it reaches 115 degrees.
Stir the sugar into the whole milk, and then stir in the yeast. Let the mixture sit and bloom for 5-10 minutes, or until it's bubbly and frothy.
In a large bowl, stir together the eggs and melted butter.
Add the yeast mixture into the egg mixture, and stir to combine.
Add in the flour mixture, and stir until combined, and a dough has formed.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour as needed, for about 5 minutes. The dough will be fairly stiff.
Place the dough into your buttered bowl. For the first rise, you want the dough to double in size. For me, this takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour, but you should keep a close eye on your dough after 30 minutes. Do not let the dough rise to more than double in size.
Remove the dough from your bowl, and roll it out on a floured surface.
You want the dough to be very thin, 1/8-1/4 inch thick, and in the shape of a large rectangle. Since the dough will be a bit elastic, this may take some working.
Spread your pesto evenly over the entire rectangle, all the way to the edges.
Lightly grease a loaf pan, and set aside.
Begin to roll your dough, very tightly, like you would a cinnamon roll, starting on one of the shorter sides of your rectangle.
Once you have the dough completely rolled up, slice the roll in half length-wise.
Twist the two halves together, lightly pinching each end together.
Place the dough into your prepared loaf pan, and cover.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and let the dough rest for 25-30 minutes. The dough should rise during this time just slightly, by about 1/3 at most.
Bake the dough uncovered for 40-45 minutes. If you notice the bread becoming too brown on top, cover with foil for the remaining bake time.
Using an instant-read thermometer, the inside of your dough should reach about 165-170 degrees on the inside when it is finished baking.
Remove from the oven, and cool completely in the pan. Slice, and enjoy!
Hi everyone! Today is a special post- it’s actually my 100th recipe on the blog!
I’m going savory for number 100 with these soft pretzel twists, and they’re super easy to make actually. Let’s just have a real moment here, where we all admit to ourselves that soft pretzels are one of God’s gifts to earth. Like what self-respecting carb-lover does NOT like soft pretzels?
It’s actually one of the easier bread types to make because it only has to rise once, which means there’s less chance to screw it up basically. It does, however, have the odd step of boiling the dough before baking it, but that’s what gives it that pillowy texture we all love.
Here’s the idea; you make the dough, give it a bit to rise, until it doubles in size and looks about like this:
Then, divide your dough in half, in half again, and then into fourths. Roll into a rope, fold it in half and twist. Then tuck the ends into the loop so you end up with a twisted roll shape, like this:
Next, you’ll boil the dough twists in water mixed with baking soda for about 30 seconds. Place it on your baking sheet, brush on an egg wash, and sprinkle coarse salt and pepper over the tops:
Then bake ’em up! Here’s what they look like all pretty and golden:
Even if you haven’t been following Dough-eyed for too long, I hope you celebrate this 100th post with me, and bake up some pretzel twists. You can use them as slider buns, a twist on dinner rolls, or just with nacho cheese- the classic.
¼ cup baking soda (that’s right, a whole quarter cup!)
1 egg beaten with a little water
Coarse salt and pepper for topping
If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. If not, a hand mixer will work. In a large bowl, mix together warm water, brown sugar, yeast, and melted butter. Let stand for about five minutes.
In the meantime, mix together the salt, and 4 ½ cups flour
Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and combine until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough shouldn’t be too sticky, so use more flour if needed.
Knead the dough on a flat surface for about five minutes, and form into a ball. Grease a medium bowl with a small amount of oil. Toss the dough in the bowl, flipping to coat the top. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for 30 minutes to an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a large pot, bring two quarts (eight cups) of water to a boil. Add the baking soda to the boiling water quickly and be careful because it might splatter!
Prepare two sheet pans with a non-stick silpat sheet.
Divide your dough in half, then in half again. Then, each of those halves should be divided into four.
Roll each small section into a rope. Then fold it in half, and twist, and finally, fold the ends of the twisted rope into the loop on the top. This should create a twisted roll shape.
Use a slotted spoon to boil and remove about four pieces at time, for about 30 seconds each. You can put the boiled pieces directly onto your prepared sheet pan.
Then, brush the pieces with your beaten egg mixture and immediately top with salt and pepper. Bake for about twelve to fifteen minutes, until golden brown!
Today we’re talking about an easy step to cinnamon roll making that makes ’em next level. Because if you’re going to trouble yourself to make homemade cinnamon rolls, let’s make them the best ones ever. It’s chocolate chips, in case you hadn’t guessed.
I used mini chips, because I really wanted them to blend in with the classic cinnamon filling. It’s not overloaded with chips, but just enough to add that sweet note of chocolate.
Cinnamon rolls aren’t the easiest thing to make, especially at an altitude. If you’re up high someplace like me, the rising times and baking information should be perfect. If you are at sea-level, you’ll need more time for rising, and you should bake your rolls at a slightly higher temperature.
What I’ve found with bread recipes and rising dough is that you want to pay more attention to the dough itself than your given rising times. Sometimes if it’s humid in my house, the dough takes like, half the time to rise. So, here’s your reference for this recipe- on the first rise, you want the dough to double in size. On the second rise, you want the dough to rise around 1/3. And finally, your last rise should be fairly short, only about 1/4 size increase.
Working with yeast breads doesn’t have to be hard, and the results always make me feel like a champ. Make sure you’ve got fresh yeast, and be sure to use a thermometer- don’t just guess on the temperature to bloom your yeast. After that, it’s easy!
Mix together the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let this sit for 5 minutes until the yeast has bloomed.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together the whole milk, 1 cup of water, canola oil, and salt until about 120 degrees.
Pour the milk mixture into a stand mixture, or a large bowl. Add in 4 cups of flour to start, and beat together until combined.
Add in the yeast mixture, and beat together for several minutes. You will have a lumpy, very wet mixture at this point.
Add in another 1/2 cup of flour, and beat together. Continue slowly adding flour until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, and is no longer sticky.
Then, pull the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead in a little more flour until it's smooth.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 50-55 minutes for the first round.
After the first rise, punch down the dough, and knead on a floured surface once or twice. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let it rise again for about 40-45 minutes this time.
Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together for the filling.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, and spread the filling butter evenly across the entire thing. Then sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top, and pat down into the dough. Sprinkle your mini chips across the dough.
Roll up the dough tightly, and slice into 15-18 rolls.
Place your rolls in a greased sheet pan, and let rise for another 15 minutes or so.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.
For the frosting, mix everything together until smooth. Smear over each roll after cooling for about 15 minutes.
I’ve just had a really wonderful birthday, and one of the best things I got this year was a couple of new stunning bundt pans, like the one I used to make this fantastic pound cake. So, you can expect to see some pretty cakes coming up on the blog in the next few weeks!
Pound cake is perfection. It goes perfectly with any topping, in any trifle or parfait, or all alone. The term pound cake, as you probably know, comes from original recipes that used one pound of each ingredient. Today however, and particularly at a high altitude, this is not how we make it.
It’s a sturdy and yet soft cake, overall more dense than a normal birthday cake or sponge style cake. This means that it holds up well to cutting, decorating, and even stacking if you wanted to bake the batter in a normal cake pan.
This version has a light lemony flavor and a hint of almond in addition to the traditional vanilla. It’s a great recipe to add blueberries to, poppy seeds, or another flavoring before you bake as well.
I’ve actually had very little success at baking pound cake at my Denver altitude, and this recipe is adapted from the CU Boulder recipe in High Altitude Baking, 2nd Edition. Seriously, its the best pound cake ever, and it’s very easy. I’ve previously made many pound cakes that involved like 8 eggs and 10 cups of flour. This is MUCH more manageable.
Fresh baked bread is maybe the best thing you can do. Your whole house is going to smell AMAZING, I promise, and you can enjoy it with super yummy butters, like this garlic pesto version.
This is a high altitude recipe, so if you’re making this at sea level, you’ll want to decrease the liquid by about 1/4 cup, and let your dough rise for 15-20 minutes longer on each rise.
On another note, if you’ve ever tried to make bread at a high altitude, you’ve probably been unhappy with the results. In my case, I almost always ended up with a very dense, heavy, and overly chewy end product that was… not good basically. In high altitudes, the rising times are a huge factor, so pay close attention to each rise for your dough!
Eating bread thats still warm from the oven is one of the better things in life, and this recipe is an easy one. Bake bread today. Tomorrow. And everyday. (JK, that’s just a dream of mine).
I also made mine with a honey cinnamon butter, which is fantastic too!