Buttery and pillowy soft brioche babka filled with Brie and herbs. This classic French bread is delicious and simple to make, perfect for entertaining at home!
This Brie Brioche Babka with Herbs recipe has been triple tested and it is absolutely delicious!
If you’ve made babka before you probably know it’s a labor of love. This post if packed with all the info you need to make this foolproof bread. Word to the wise: be patient. This dough has to proof a couple of times (a total of 2 hours), so make sure to plan ahead if you’re making it for a get together!
I love making this French Bread when entertaining at home. It pairs well with Chardonnay and I like to serve it with whipped butter and honey.
Why use Chlorine and Bleach-free Parchment Paper
I first heard of If You Care Parchment Baking Paper last year at Expo West. I have to admit I’ve never thought about the difference between bleached and unbleached parchment paper, nor did I know about the impact on our health and our environment. Since then, I started paying close attention to the products I use in our every day lives. The main difference you’d notice is the color, unbleached parchment paper is brown (as opposed to white), because it is untreated. Bleach makes parchment paper white. From a baking perspective, they can be used interchangeably, however most parchment paper products in the US are bleached with chlorine gas or chlorine derivatives which are known to create dioxins as a by-product of the bleaching process. Studies suggest these dioxins affect human and animal health.
If You Care Baking Paper is made from unbleached totally chlorine-free (TCF) greaseproof paper, so no chlorine or chlorine derivatives are dumped into our lakes, rivers and streams. If You Care products are produced with a view to reducing the amount of waste in our waste streams. If possible, nothing should remain after the product has been used and properly disposed of. The packaging is made from unbleached recycled cardboard or paper which should be recycled again.
If You Care kitchen and household products are carefully and deliberately crafted to have the least environmental impact and the lightest carbon footprint possible, while at the same time, delivering to the consumer, the highest quality and most effective results. (Source)
How to Make a Brie Brioche Babka – Step by Step Tutorial
- Gather the Brioche dough ingredients and allow them to come to room temperature. Measure the flour using the spoon and level technique.
- To properly activate the yeast, first make sure it’s not expired. Secondly, read the instructions in the back of the packet. I activated mine my warming 8oz of whole milk to 103F. I like to add the yeast little by little, whisking as I go, to avoid clumps. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, while it bubbles and creates foam. If this doesn’t happen, start over!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the hook attachment, combine the flour, softened butter, milk/yeast mixture, room temp eggs. sugar and salt. Mix on low until combined, increase the speed and knead until dough comes together and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. This process takes about 10 minutes, do not skip this step!
- Lightly grease a large bowl and transfer dough. Cover with 2 kitchen towels and allow to rest/proof for 1 hour to 1.5 hours. This dough should double in size (see photos above).
- Once the dough has doubled, weigh and divide the dough into 2. Lightly flour your working surface and rolling pin, roll our each dough ball to 11×15.
- Add the thinly sliced brioche leaving about 1/2 inch from the edges. Top with fresh and dried oregano, chopped rosemary and thyme. Sprinkle some Himalayan salt and pepper.
- Starting at the long edge nearest you, tightly roll up the dough rectangle into a tight log. Repeat with the other dough half.
- For a traditional babka loaf, use a sharp knife to cut through the middle length-wise. Place one piece of the though over the other, and braid together. Place the babka in a 9×5 inch pan, greased and lined with If You Care Parchment Baking Paper, cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
- For a brioche loaf, cut the log in half crosswise. Place one half over the other, forming a cross. Twist to form a spiral and transfer to a grease and lined loaf pan. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F, and brush edges of dough with egg wash.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
- Serve warm with whipped butter and honey, optional but delicious.
Tips for making a Brie Brioche Babka with Herbs
Here are my tips to make your babka baking experience a little bit easier!
- Read through the entire recipe and instructions. Sounds basic, I know, but I’m guilty of only reading the Ingredients list to make sure I have everything, only to realize that some things need to proof for an hour, like this babka!
- Make sure your yeast isn’t expired! Active dry yeast is an ingredient I don’t use every day, so I always check the date before I start baking and always go for a high quality brand – it makes a big difference! If your yeast isn’t bubbling, start over. Properly activated (and not expired) yeast will foam.
- When making bread, your ingredients need to be room temp. When activating the yeast, warm the milk to 110F (max), or read through the instructions in the package, temperature suggestions may vary.
- To get an even softer bread, use European-style butter that contains 85% butterfat (5% more butterfat than regular butter)..
- Use a mix of fresh and dried herbs.
- Twist your dough instead of braiding it (like a traditional babka), it’s easier and not so messy, especially if it’s your first time. I explain how to do this in the recipe card.
- I like to serve my Brie Brioche Babka with whipped butter and a glass of Chardonnay!
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Happy Baking! xPrint
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