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Cheese Babka

  • Author: polishhousewife
  • Prep Time: 2 hours + overnight
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 24 minute
  • Yield: 2 9-inch loaves 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Polish


A delicate raised dough, wrapped around ribbons of a lightly sweet cheese filling with a crumb topping



for the dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed (110 F)
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp

for the filling:

  • 16 ounces farmer’s cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

for the crumb topping:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter


for dough:

  1. Add warm milk to a mixing bowl with yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar, stir and let sit for 5 minutes, it should become foamy
  2. Add remaining sugar, egg, egg yolk, flour and salt, mix until well combined using mixer dough hook for 5 minutes, add butter and mix until fully incorporated about 3 minutes, the dough will be tacky
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for an hour, divide dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight

for filling:

  1. Add the cheese, sugar, and egg yolk to the bowl of a food processs and process until smooth.
  2. Chill.

to assemble:

  1. Grease 2 9-inch loaf pans
  2. Roll each piece of dough out to a 16 inch square, spread with 1/2 of the filling, avoiding 1/2 inch around the edge of the dough, roll up as snugly as possible
  3. Fold the dough in the middle, imagine a hairpin. Hold one end and twist. , place the spiraled dough in prepared pans
  4. Cover and let rise at room temp for 1-2 hours, during this time preheat the oven to 375 F.
  5. Brush the loaves with egg white. Combine ingredients for the crumb topping and sprinkle over the babkas.
  6. Bake 45-50 minutes, internal temp should be 195 F, cool 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pans to remove.


Let me just warm you that assembling this is a messy process. The dough is very soft. The filling wants to run. Just carry on and know that it will all be covered with the crumb topping.