Babkallah = Babka + Challah
If you are wondering what on earth is a Babkallah, you are definitely missing out! Babkallah is a hybrid bread combining a babka and a challah. So basically, here I used the dough from my Sourdough Challah recipe. Added some sweet red bean paste to the dough. Then, shaped it like a babka but braided like a challah.
Ever since my Sourdough Challah experiment last month, I have been obsessed with challah. Challah bread is so versatile. Not only does it taste amazing just slightly toasted with some vegan butter, it’s even better when you make French toast with it. Simply whip up a vegan French toast batter, dip several slices of challah toasts into it, then fry it with more vegan butter.
Matcha 🍵 & Red Bean – Classic Flavor Pairing
The flavor pairing of matcha and red bean paste (aka anko) is a classic Japanese combination. I’ve always wanted to make a sweet sourdough bun with matcha & red bean paste. Since the idea of making a babkallah came to my mind, I thought it would be a good idea to make a babkallah with a Japanese twist. I used the leftover anko I made for the Easter bunny rolls, but you can easily replace it with store bought ones if you prefer not to make yours.
Yudane Method 💦
This vegan sourdough challah have the texture that resemble most Japanese bread – super soft and fluffy. As I learned more about sourdough baking over the past year, I came across the Yudane Method. Yudane method is the secret to make a soft and fluffy Japanese style bread. In order to bake using this method, you simply mix an equal portion of flour and boiling water. The effect of adding boiling water to flour is that it gelatinises the starch. The gelatinised starch will allow the starch to absorb more water, and thus enhancing the sweetness of the bread.
Yudane method is in fact similar to the Tangzhong method I used in my sourdough shokupan recipe. Unlike the 1:1 flour-to-water ratio in Yudane method, the Tangzhong mixture is made by heating up a mixture of flour and water in the ratio of 1:5 to 65°C.
In this recipe, I used a 50% hydration lievito madre as the stiff levain. Using a stiff levain is crucial in this recipe because the tanginess in sourdough starter does not go well with matcha flavor. You can of course convert your 100% hydration sourdough starter to a 50% hydration starter if you don’t have lievito madre. You can learn how to convert your starter by following the recipe below. If you are using lievito madre, remember to refresh at least 3 times (4 hours apart) before using it. You will need 180g of lievito madre for this recipe.
4pm: Prepare Levain
8pm: Mix the dough
8:30pm: Retard in fridge
8:30am: Shape and braid the challah. Proceed to final proof
Matcha Babkallah With Red Bean PasteCourse: SourdoughCuisine: JewishDifficulty: Medium
The Vegan Sourdough Challah is so buttery soft and fluffy, definitely the perfect bread for breakfast!
- Main Dough
190g bread flour
90g spelt flour* (or sub bread flour)
All yudane dough (from below)
180g stiff levain (from below) or Lievito madre
50g agave syrup
6g sea salt
100g soy milk
50g vegan butter
100g bread flour
100g boiling water
- Stiff Levain (50% hydration)
80g bread flour
- “Egg” Wash
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp soy milk
- Mix all the ingredients of the stiff levain and leave it to rise until doubled or even tripled. It usually takes 3-4 hours at 82°F (28°C).
- While you are waiting for the stiff levain to rise, add 100g boiling water to 100g bread flour. Leave it aside to cool completely.
- Once the levain is ready to use, place all of the ingredients (except butter) into the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the hook attachment, knead for about 5 minutes until the dough comes together and forms a dough ball.
- Gradually add in oil and continue knead for 10 – 15 more minutes or until reach window pane stage.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover and leave the dough in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours.
- The next morning, transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions. Form each portion into a small log. Rest for 15 minutes.
- Flatten, then roll out each dough to a 12×6” rectangle about 1/8″ thick. Spread around 2 Tbsp of anko on top of each rectangle, leaving a 1/2″ border uncovered along one long edge of each piece of dough. Make sure it’s evenly distributed.
- Starting on the filling-covered long side, roll each rectangle into a log and pinch the end of the seams to seal.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the log to split in the middle from one side to the other. So, now you have 6 strands of dough. With cut sides up, pinch the top of the strands together and braid the dough. I followed the instructions in this video.
- Carefully transfer the challah onto a lined baking tray. Brush with “egg” wash.
- Mark with a pencil about 1.5 cm away from the original size of the dough on both sides. Let it proof at a warm place until the dough rise double in size or when it reaches the mark. Mine took approximately 4 hours at 82°F (28°C).
- Preheat oven at 350°F (175°C). Brush with egg wash again.
- Bake in a preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Rotate the tray halfway to ensure the challah is evenly baked.
- Remove challah from oven and let them cool on rack completely.
- * In this recipe, I use a small amount of spelt flour for the flavor. But feel free to use 100% bread flour if you wish.