Berry Babka

Fluffy, moist, and swirled with gorgeous tangy fruit, this vegan bank is an easy and impressive bake that testes just like brioche!

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Okay, take a jam doughnut, brioche bun and fruit toast, smoosh them together and the result is this: fluffy, swirly sweet yeasted cake! The truth is, we all like a quick breakfast, a snack or something to toast and use as a carrier for melty butter, baking this loaf gives you all of those things, along with the satisfaction of homemade bread baking!

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Recent reality means we have all suddenly gained a lot of time, meaning there is enough time for bread baking and spending time in the kitchen, and trust me there is nothing better than the smell of fresh breading your home. It is so rewarding seeing your dough baby grow and rise in the oven, especially when it looks as good at this one!

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Ingredients

150ml oat milk (or milk of choice)

7g active dried yeast (1 sachet)

35g coconut sugar

300g white spelt flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

70g melted coconut oil

 

150g frozen berries

7 tablespoons chia seeds

3 tablespoons maple syrup

 

Plant-based yogurt

Vanilla


Method

  1. Gently heat the milk in a saucepan make sure it’s just above room temperature to not kill the yeast, then stir in the dried yeast and a teaspoon of sugar and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine the remaining sugar, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, then fold in the yeast mix and melted oil. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. 
  3. Next, lightly grease the bowl, place the dough inside it and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave this in a warm place for an hour to rise (or until doubled in size).
  4. Make the filling by placing the frozen fruit and maple syrup in a saucepan, bring to a light simmer until the fruit defrosts, then mix in the chia seeds and allow to cool completely, if the jam isn’t gloopy and thick add some more chia seeds and let thicken. Alternatively, you could use a store brought jam.
  5. Once the dough is doubled in size knock back the air and knead for a few minutes, then roll into a rectangle roughly 30x40cm and generously spread out your filling leaving a 1cm border.
  6. Starting from the longer side begin to roll the dough into a long log, next using a sharp knife slice the dough in two lengthways to open up the layers (see photos for guidance).
  7. Then, starting from the top with the cuts facing up, lift one half over the other to form a braid/twist, tuck in the top and bottom to secure the loaf and transfer to a lined loaf tin and let it rise one final time for 45 minutes.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ for 40 minutes, brush with some extra milk for a glossy finish, and if the loaf begins to darken too quickly cover it with tin foil for the remaining baking time.
  9. Allow to cool before glazing – I simply mixed some yogurt with maple syrup and vanilla but you can use any icing you like!

Notes

  • It’s important to let the dough prove properly, this may be longer than 1 hour depending on your house’s temperature – it should have doused inside and be springy to the touch.
  • I’d reckoned using a fully cooled filling so that it is thick and won’t seep out too much once you cut the dough
  • I used a very sharp knife, this creates a clean-cut and keeps the filling looked in
  • I baked my babka in an average loaf tin, I’d recommend this as it allows the shape to stay defined and supports the loaf to rise.
  • If you have no spelt flour, white bread or all-purpose will also work. I wouldn’t reckon using GF.
  • I’d recommend eating this loaf within 2-3 days as yeasted loaf cakes often go dry; however, leftovers can be sliced and frozen, or alternatively heat the slices in the microwave or toaster to freshen up!

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