Yeast Breads

Fairy Bread Babka


Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 30 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! I have birthdays on my mind. February and March are full of birthdays for me and it has had me thinking about all the stuff we all had at our birthdays as kids. Fairy bread is an iconic kiwi party staple. For those of you outside NZ, it is white bread, spread with butter or margarine and covered in sprinkles. Specifically 100s&1000s. The round non-pareil kind, not jimmies. Because I can’t eat that kind of bread anymore and because I just can’t help myself putting a spin on things, it’s time to reinvent fairy bread. All the fluffy softness. All the crunchy sweetness. But with lovely homemade milk bread. Buttery swirls of sprinkles. No hydrogenated vegetable fats in sight. The perfect grown-up version to satisfy your nostalgia.

I know this is not a proper babka dough but I think the name implies the shape and style of the loaf succinctly and we’re not going to worry too much about taking a bit of licence here. To make this a proper fairy bread loaf we need to use the proper type of sprinkles. The small round ones. If you can’t find them, the best (if not traditional) substitute is jimmies. Using larger round sprinkles will be too lumpy and hard. Be generous with the sprinkles.

Measure the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl, reserving about half a teaspoon of the sugar.

Mix the little bit of sugar into the milk and sprinkle the yeast over it. Leave it until it gets foamy – about 10 minutes.

Add the milk to the dry ingredients along with the vanilla and mix to a dough.

Cover and leave the dough in the bowl to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Tip the dough out and knead until smooth – about 6-8 minutes. It’s quite a stiff dough before the butter goes in so take a break every couple of minutes if you need to.

Add half the butter to the dough.

Knead until the butter is incorporated. It will look terrible for a while. It will split. Then it will be sticky.

Then it will be fine. Repeat with the second half of the butter. This half will absorb faster than the first. When the dough is smooth and soft pop it back in the bowl and cover. Leave to double in size – about an hour.

Grease your loaf pan with coconut oil. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured bench. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle – about 30 by 60 cm.

Spread the dough with soft butter just like you were making a huge sandwich. I found by far the easiest way to do this was with my hands. Utensils tended to catch in the dough and pull it. Leave a border of about one inch along one of the long sides.

Liberally cover the buttered surface with sprinkles and pat them down gently with your hands.

Roll up the dough towards the border you left. Finish the log by pinching the join closed. Split the log down the middle leaving a join at one end.

Twist the two strands around each other fairly tightly.

Fold it in the middle and twist the two legs around each other again.

Lay the now very twisty loaf into the pan and tuck the ends under.

Leave the loaf to double in size.

Heat the oven to 200C (395F). Brush with egg wash if you like but it’s not necessary.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the loaf is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. It may be a little fragile at first because of the layers so be careful turning it out.

Time to get slicing and munching!

Like this recipe? Pin for later or Print for right now:

Fairy Bread Babka


Prep Time : 30 mins | Cook Time : 30 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Makes : 1 large loaf

Soft fluffy vanilla milk bread wrapped around buttery swirls of sprinkles – the new kiwi birthday treat.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 500 grams strong bread flour
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) fine salt
  • 1 + 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon (340 mls) warm full fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons active dried yeast
  • Seeds of half a vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams) soft unsalted butter, diced

For the filling:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons very soft butter
  • 1/2 cup (90 grams) 100s&1000s/non pareil sprinkles (not jimmies)

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Bowls and spoons
  • Large loaf pan greased with coconut oil

Directions:

Measure the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl, reserving about half a teaspoon of the sugar.

Mix the little bit of sugar into the milk and sprinkle the yeast over it. Leave it until it gets foamy – about 10 minutes.

Add the milk to the dry ingredients along with the vanilla and mix to a dough.

Cover and leave the dough in the bowl to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Tip the dough out and knead until smooth – about 6-8 minutes. It’s quite a stiff dough before the butter goes in so take a break every couple of minutes if you need to.

Add half the butter to the dough.

Knead until the butter is incorporated. It will look terrible for a while. It will split.

Then it will be sticky.

Then it will be fine. Repeat with the second half of the butter. This half will absorb faster than the first. When the dough is smooth and soft pop it back in the bowl and cover. Leave to double in size – about an hour.

Grease your loaf pan with coconut oil. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured bench. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle – about 30 by 60 cm.

Spread the dough with soft butter just like you were making a huge sandwich. I found by far the easiest way to do this was with my hands. Utensils tended to catch in the dough and pull it. Leave a border of about one inch along one of the long sides.

Liberally cover the buttered surface with sprinkles and pat them down gently with your hands.

Roll up the dough towards the border you left. Finish the log by pinching the join closed. Split the log down the middle leaving a join at one end.

Twist the two strands around each other fairly tightly. Fold it in the middle and twist the two legs around each other again. Lay the now very twisty loaf into the pan and tuck the ends under.

Leave the loaf to double in size.

Heat the oven to 200C (395F). Brush with egg wash if you like.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the loaf is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. It may be a little fragile at first because of the layers so be careful turning it out. Leave the loaf to cool completely before slicing.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Remember to use 100s and 1000s (non pareils) rather than jimmies for this recipe if you can to give it a classic fairy bread look. Don’t skimp on sprinkles!
  • This loaf doesn’t need to be iced but you can give it a drizzle of vanilla glaze if you like! If you are feeling a more pull apart vibe this can easily be made into cinnamon roll style buns in a 9 by 13 inch pan.

 – This loaf is at it’s best and fluffiest the day it is made but is still good for another 2 days. As it firms try toasting it! – 

© 2018 Wellington Bakehouse. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Fairy Bread Babka

Leave a Reply