Decisions are hard; choose both sweet and savory with this swirly loaf. # 197: Caramelized Onion Babka
With looming lockdowns and less daylight, I’ve been falling into a funk on weeknights. Looking up from my work laptop to see that the sun has already set and I didn’t manage to get outside is such a mood killer. We are really just complicated house plants – gimmie lots of water and sunlight and I’m a happy girl!
So thankful for Saturdays where I can go for long walks and soak up the sun before hiding in my kitchen whipping up time-consuming bakes. I got to lose myself caramelizing onions and snuggling a twisty lump of dough into a bread pan. 10 outta 10 would recommend!
Also: this!! My friend Katie and her mom Kristi made me this lovely apron and I may or may not have worn it all day. I could fit a whole babka in each pocket! Better than a Paul Hollywood handshake, if I do say so myself.
I’ve made babka muffins and povitica before, but both had chocolate fillings that fell solidly into the sweet category. The soft dough is the perfect vehicle for jammy onions and crunchy poppy seeds! It’s reminiscent of a an onion bagel, except a lil bit sweeter.
According to Smitten Kitchen, the flavors are based on a classic bialy, which sounds like heaven. It’s basically a bagel, but instead of a hole in the middle, there’s an indentation filled with caramelized onions and poppy seeds. Plus it’s a Yiddish word and it’s incredibly fun to say.
Next time I might try an herb-y cheese version. Maybe some gruyere and rosemary? Yes please!
The recipe called for all the dough ingredients to be thrown in together, but I balked at adding the salt before the flour. My understanding is that salt and yeast are NOT friends. Depending on how much salt is added it can slow down or fully inhibit the yeast’s growth.
I always mix the salt in with the flour first to help dilute it, but who knows if that makes a real difference? Call it my baking superstition!
You know that it’s ready when it starts to tango with the dough hook. Oo la la!
Sweet dreams, lil dough.
While it naps, grab a box of tissues cuz it’s onion time! If you think using a food processor will be so quick that you won’t cry, I’ve got bad news for ya. It was definitely quicker, but I still looked like I had just seen The Notebook.
Look at that caramel-y goodness!
Poof! Happy dough pillow.
Unlike the povitica dough, this one wasn’t super sticky and I was able to roll it out without parchment paper. Score!
Our apartment smelled like caramelized onions for hours and it made me crave a burger soo badly.
Art. Next time I’m going to spread the filling closer to the edges (since there’s no sealing involved, no need for a dough buffer!)
Cutting it felt wrong after rolling it up so neat and tidy!
Oh you fancy huh?
I tucked the ends under since it was a bit too long. I had to hide behind my hands when Lottie left them hanging out during the GBBO babka technical. The saddest part was she realized her mistake right after putting it in the oven. Agony!
I couldn’t wait for it to completely cool before diving in – oops! It’s so yummy warm.
Swirly oniony goodness.
Recipe from: https://smittenkitchen.com/2020/11/bialy-babka/