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School Bread Babka

As many of you, who follow me on Instagram know, we recently returned from our honeymoon in Norway and Sweden!


While I cannot say that the food in these countries was the most exciting meals I have ever had, it was fresh and the baked goods were delicious. One of Noah’s favorite bites of the entire trip was pastry that they have in Norway called “School Bread”. It is a simple bread dough, with a well in the center that is filled with vanilla custard and topped with coconut.


Something about the simplicity of this baked delight just works. The pillowy dough and the smooth custard are perfectly highlighted by the tropical flavors of the coconut.


This babka is my homage to the memories we made that will last a lifetime and a love letter to our new favorite treat!


Dough

1/2 Cup milk (or milk alternative), warmed

1 Tablespoon instant yeast

1/4 Cup granulated sugar

1 Egg

1 Egg yolk

1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt

2 Cups all purpose flour

7 Tablespoons butter, room temperature


Filling

3 Egg yolks

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 Cup granulated sugar

1 Cup milk (or milk alternative)

2 Teaspoons vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons butter


Topping

1/2 Cup powdered sugar

3-5 Tablespoons water

Shredded coconut


Begin by making the dough. Whisk egg, egg yolk, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until smooth and slightly pale in color. Whisk in warmed milk and yeast until combined.


Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix in the flour until almost fully mixed. Add butter about 1 tablespoon at a time (make sure it’s at room temperature!) and mix until incorporated. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.


Turn out the dough and knead for just a few minutes until very smooth. Transfer to a greased bowl and let rise for 1 ½ - 2 hours until doubled.


While the dough is rising, make the filling by whisking together, in a large bowl, the egg yolks and cornstarch. Whisk vigorously until the egg yolks thicken.


Once the yolks are thickened, pour the milk into a sauce pot and heat over medium heat until bubble begin to form around the edges. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.


SLOWLY pour the milk into the egg yolk and cornstarch mixture, while making sure to whisk constantly. This process will help to make sure that the eggs do not scramble when placed back over the flame.


Once all of the warmed milk has been incorporated into the egg yolk mixture, pour back into the sauce pot and heat over medium-low heat WHISKING CONSTANTLY until the mixture thickens into a pudding like consistency.


Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and butter. Cool in the refrigerator, tightly covered in plastic wrap until cold.


Once the dough has doubled in size, place on a floured surface and roll into a large rectangle. The dough should be as thin as you can get it. This ensures the most swirls inside the bread.


Using an offset spatula spread the filling over the dough in a thin layer. Starting on the edge closest to you begin to tightly roll the dough away from you until you run out of dough and are left with a log of dough. Pinch the ends together to ensure no filling leaks out while baking.


Taking one end of the log, tightly wind into a circle. The finished product should resemble a large cinnamon roll. Tuck the end of the dough log under the roll and let proof for another 30 minutes.


While the dough is proofing, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom of it.


Let the bread cool completely before making the topping.


To make the topping, whisk together the powdered sugar with water and spread over the top of the bread. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top. Enjoy!



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1 Comment


Guest
Sep 26, 2023

Incredible photo

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