Sweet yeast plaits are the absolute hit at every brunch buffet! But it doesn't always have to be sweet, does it? This savoury babka with feta and za'atar adds a touch of spice to the table. Lightly crispy crust, fluffy crumb and aromatic feta cream filling - what more could you want?
Babka is often baked with jam, chocolate or cinnamon. Actually, there are no limits to your imagination when it comes to the filling. The main thing is that it's not too runny or you put too much in. Because the fun thing about this yeast cake, apart from the flavour-giving swirls, is the soft crumb. But back to the spicy cream you're going to spread on the yeast dough. It's based on spicy feta, za'atar and dried tomatoes preserved in oil. Add a little salt and pepper, mix everything together, spread it on the rolled-out dough and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.
Spicy and fluffy
To give the savoury babka its beautiful swirl, you need to roll up the dough, divide it into two strands and braid them together. Of course, you can also go wild and divide the dough roll into several strands and braid them together. Do whatever you like!
Fresh out of the oven, however, you should first let the spicy yeast plait cool in the tin so that it doesn't break. Then cut the babka with feta and za'atar into slices of any thickness and enjoy! Lightly crispy on the outside, nice and fluffy and spicy on the inside - that's how I like baked food! And to make it exactly like that, you need a little time. Because the dough for your aromatic yeast knot needs to rise a few times for a few minutes. A perfect recipe for the weekend, when the next party is coming up or a barbecue is planned. While it's rising, you can prepare other things or just do nothing and relax on the couch.
My secret tip: Babka with feta and za'atar tastes even better if you smear some butter on your slice. Or make a little more of the feta and tomato cream and use the rest as a dip.
Ingredients for Babka with Feta and Za'atar
- 1,5 tsp Dry yeast
- 100 ml Milk
- 300 g Wheat flour (type 550)
- 0,5 tsp Salt
- 1 Organic lemon (grated)
- 100 g Butter
Prepare the dough
- Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk and leave for 10 minutes until a yeast foam forms on the milk.
- Sieve the flour and mix with the salt.
- Wash the lemon well, grate the zest and add to the flour.
- With a dough hook: Add the yeast-milk mixture to the flour and knead.
- Then add the egg and gradually the butter. Knead the dough for 20 minutes with the dough hook until smooth.
- Grease a large bowl with a little oil and let the kneaded dough rise in it, covered, for about 4 hours in a warm place.
- Roast the pine nuts in a pan without fat and set aside.
- Crumble the feta. Drain the tomatoes and cut into strips.
- Mix the feta and tomatoes in a bowl with the olive oil and za'atar. Season with salt and pepper.
Fill and knot the babka
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a rectangle about the thickness of a finger.
- Spread the feta mixture on the rectangle about 5 cm from all edges and scatter the pine nuts on top.
- Now carefully roll up the rectangle from the longer side. The result is a filled babka snake.
- Cut the babka snake lengthwise in the middle with a sharp knife. You now have two long pieces of dough, each with a cut surface where you can see the filling.
- Place the dough pieces crosswise with the cut surface facing upwards and place the dough pieces on top and bottom one after the other until a plait is formed.
- Grease the loaf tin with a little oil and place the plait in it. The plait will probably be longer than the tin. This is normal. Carefully compress the plait into the mould.
- Leave the babka plait to rise for a further 90 minutes in the loaf tin and covered with a kitchen towel.
- Preheat the oven to 190 °C top/bottom heat.
- Bake the babka for about 45 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Allow the babka to cool completely and then turn it out of the mould.
- The babka has a shelf life of approx. 4 days.
Be sure to try the sweet version - babka with chocolate and orange.