There is a local strawberry stand here in San Diego that, I kid you not, has the best strawberries I have every eaten.
They are the berries you look at and are immediatley reminded of a textbook image of a strawberry, juicy, plump, and sweet. The stand is only open for a few months out of the year. When it closes, I crave those berries like nobody's business!! The taste always reminds me of summer days spent by the beach and of strawberry desserts of all sorts!
This strawberry shortcake babka is filled with sweet strawberry jam and topped with a short bread crust, mimicking the flavors of the all American dessert, the strawberry shortcake.
½ Cup milk, warmed
2 ½ Teaspoons instant yeast
1 Egg yolk
¼ Cup sugar
½ Teaspoon kosher salt
2 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
7 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
1/2 Cup strawberry jam
1 Egg white
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 Cup all purpose flour
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup salted butter, cubed and cold
1 Tablespoon cold water
Whisk egg, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, 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 and lemon zest 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.
Prepare the strawberry filling by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix until combined.
Once the dough is done proofing, 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.
Fold in half and twist together to form a log.
Place the twisted babka in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise for another half an hour while you make the topping.
Make the topping by combining all ingredients (except the water) into a food processor. Pulse about 8-10 times until the mixture looks like a fine sand. Pour in water and pulse until a crumbly dough comes together. Sprinkle the dough over the babka.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake for 35-45 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.