Blueberry Babka VG

Look, it's GORGEOUS. The swirls, oh so hypnotic. Stare in deeply for 30 seconds then shut your eyes, the illusion of the babka shall be strong.

Finally, another sculpted bun (well, loaf). I really do like babka however I wanted to switch up the flavours a tad. The Jewish bread is typically flavoured with cinnamon or chocolate; the latter being of western influence from the US. I do love the combination of cinnamon sugar and pillowy dough however for the purpose of not baking the same things time and time again, I wanted to branch out. 

I didn't have any cocoa powder or chocolate (sacrilege) on hand however the blueberries where yearning to escape from the icy depths of the freezer. I have made a blueberry swirl roll bun thing previously on here, I'm thinking 2014, however I haven't made them since. From what I remember, they were divine, think a macho blueberry muffin that takes steroids and goes to the gym.
I am a big fan of my european swirly flavoured breads. Previously, I have made a povitica, the Slovenian cousin of the babka as well as a couronne, French 2nd cousin once removed.  
Adding the vanilla to the filling adds to the blueberry muffin taste as well as the glaze topping. Please do use a spread rather than water, it's only a small amount but it'll make a world of a difference to the final product.

Make this bread, you'll never be more grateful.

For the bread
  •  300g strong white flour 
  • 40g caster sugar 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 170ml warm water
  • 7g instant yeast 
  • 10g caster sugar 
  • 30ml oil
For the filling

  • 200g frozen blueberries
  • 50-100g caster sugar, depending
  • juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • flora

For the glaze topping 

  • 50g icing sugar 
  • 10g water or butter, butter if you want a reminiscent taste of a muffin

Stir together the warm water, yeast and 10g of sugar and leave for 10 minutes until frothy. Mix together the flour, 40g sugar and salt and add the yeasty water. Knead for 3 minutes then add the oil and knead for a further 7 minutes until slickly and smooth. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for an hour or two until doubled in size. 

For the filling, heat all of the ingredients together and reduce until thicker in consistency. Mash down the blueberries. Leave to cool.

After proving, roll out the dough until 2cm thick and spread over a little flora and then the blueberry filling. Roll up the dough into a spiral and slice vertically down the middle to create two thiccc strands. Twist these together and pop the whole kaboodle in a 900g LINED loaf tin.

Leave to prove for 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180c.

Bake for 30-30 minutes until the bread is golden and the filling is bubbling. Prepare the topping and brush/ drizzle over top. Leave to cool for a good hour before you cut into. 

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