I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too! Welcome!

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Blueberry Orange Babka

This not-too-sweet brioche bread is easy to make and can even be partially made ahead of time. Perfect for breakfast with a schmear of butter or cream cheese!  

2 1/4 tsps instant yeast
1 cup milk, 105-110°F
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, also at room temperature (reserve white for crumb top)
2 tsps fresh squeezed orange juice
3 tsps orange zest
3 - 3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

Blueberry Filling:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 1/2 tsps orange juice
1 1/2 tsps cornstarch
3 tbsps sugar
pinch of salt

Orange Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsps orange zest
1/2 tsp orange juice
2 tbsps butter, melted
reserved egg white, at room temperature

Start with the blueberry filling. It can even be made a day or two ahead of time and kept in the fridge. Add blueberries and orange juice to a small saucepan. Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt and add to the berries. Stir on medium heat until the juices start to release from the berries, then lower heat and keep simmering about 3 minutes until starting to thicken. Remove from heat and cool. It will thicken a little more once cooled.

For the dough...In a large bowl combine the warmed milk with 1 tsp sugar and yeast. Use a fork to mix then let sit 3-5 minutes to become foamy. 
Add egg, egg yolk, orange juice, orange zest and the rest of the 1/3 cup sugar. Using dough hook and on low speed, add flour 1 cup at a time, until you have added 3 cups. Then run on medium speed 3 minutes. The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl. If it doesn't start adding flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does. You may only need 1 or 2 tablespoons, not the whole remaining 1/2 cup flour.
Sprinkle in the salt and run for 3 minutes.
Again on medium speed, add the butter in 4 or 5 additions, only adding more when the last addition is combined. This will only take about 5 minutes. There may be some that is not fully incorporated and that's ok.

Oil a large bowl. Take the dough (it will be soft), form a ball, oil it and place in the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled. OR at this point you can put it in the fridge overnight. It won't double in the fridge, but after shaping the loaves the rise will take 1 1/2 - 2 hours instead of 1 hour.

Oil 2 - 9 X 5" loaf pans, line with parchment (leave overhangs) and spray oil on the parchment too.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Fold it over on itself 2 or 3 times, then knead by hand a few times. Cut in half and roll each half out to approximately 12 X 16" and 1/8" thick. Spread 1/2 the filling on each leaving a 1/2" border all around.

Roll up from the 12" side and pinch seams. Slice in half lengthwise and cross pieces over each other exposing the filling. Keep crossing to the end and carefully lift and place dough in pans.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap until doubled, about 1 hour. (Or if the dough had been in the fridge, 1 1/2 - 2 hours).

Make the crumb topping. Mix the flour, sugar, salt and zest together, rubbing the zest in with your fingers to release the oils. Add the orange juice and melted butter. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
When the babkas have doubled in size brush them with the reserved room temperature egg white. (This is the "glue" that helps keep the crumbs on!) Sprinkle the crumb topping on and gently press to adhere.

Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes or until an internal temperature of between 190 and 205°F is reached.
Cool on rack in pans for 15 minutes. Then, using the parchment overhangs, lift out of the pans remove paper and cool completely on rack before slicing.
Makes 2 loaves
And they freeze beautifully!
Adapted from: cinnamonshtick.com

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