A couple of weeks ago, I had an idea to make a raspberry white chocolate dessert bar. Unfortunately, after many failed trials, I decided to give up. Sometimes, recipes just don't go your way. With a couple of pints of berries left, I decided to go an entirely different route and make raspberry lychee rose babka. Make raspberry lychee rose fruit jam, swirl it in an enriched dough, and voila! Luckily, this babka was a success.
Raspberry Lychee Rose Babka
- ¾ cup milk (175 ml)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (7 grams)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (370 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp butter, cubed and softened (42 grams)
Raspberry lychee rose jam
- 1 cup raspberries (6 ounces)
- 1 cup lychee, peeled and seeds removed (6 ounces)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- juice of ½ lime
- ¼ tsp rose syrup
- Make the babka dough. Heat the milk in the microwave until it reaches 100 degrees F, about 30 seconds. Add the yeast and 1 tsp sugar and let sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture is foamy.
- Combine the yeast mixture with all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, and egg. Mix until the dough comes and knead for 2-3 minutes or until firm. Add the butter a little at a time, mixing well between each addition. Continue to knead the dough until smooth, about 5-6 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover, and let proof in a warm area for 1 hour. It may not double in size.
- Meanwhile, make the raspberry lychee rose jam. Puree the raspberries and lychee in a blender or food processor until smooth. Combine the raspberries, lychee, sugar, and lime juice in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the rose syrup. Let cool completely.
- Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and set it aside.
- Punch down the dough. Lightly dust a clean work counter with flour and roll out the dough until it's about 9x18 inches. Spread the raspberry lychee rose compote in an even layer. With the long side facing you, roll up the dough into a log. Place the seam side down and use a serrated knife to cut the log in half.
- Flip the logs so that the cut sides are facing up. Gently pinch the ends of the top of the log together and start to twist the two logs together. Lift one side over the next to form a twist, keeping the cut sides facing up. Pinch together the ends and transfer the log to the prepared pan. Cover the pan, and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the raspberry lychee rose babka for 1 hour or until golden brown. If the bread starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover the top with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven and cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I know a lot of people are intimated by babka, but once you make them, you can't stop. After making baklava babka, I was a woman obsessed. I kept thinking of different fillings I could use and finally landed on this raspberry lychee rose babka. It's a little different from the norm, but with berries coming into the season, it's the perfect sweet bread.
To make the babka, first, make the enriched dough. We're making an enriched dough, adding butter and eggs to the mix to create one soft dough. If you're using a stand mixer, the dough might look like it needs more flour. Instead of adding extra flour, remove the dough from the mixer and knead the dough by hand. Sprinkle a touch of flour to prevent it from sticking to your hands and knead until it feels soft but not wet.
While the dough is proofing, make the raspberry lychee rosewater jam. If lychee isn't in season, you can use canned fruit but the lychee flavor might not be as prominent. For fresh lychee, make sure to peel the fruit and discard the seeds before adding them to the jam.
Blend the fruits together until smooth and cook them with sugar and lime juice. Continue to simmer the fruits until the liquid is slightly thickened. The jam will get thicker once it cools so don't worry if it looks thin. Finish with a touch of rosewater and set it aside.
Let the raspberry lychee rose jam cool completely; feel free to make it several days in advance.
Roll out the proofed dough and spread the raspberry lychee rose compote in an even layer. This part gets a little messy but that just adds to the fun, right?
Starting with the long side, roll up the dough. Don't worry if the jam spills out a little. Place the seam side down and use a serrate knife to cut the dough in half lengthwise. Now, flip the two pieces so that the cut sides are facing up (like the image above).
Pinch the ends on the top together and grab one log in each hand, twisting the two together to create a braid. Pinch together the ends and place the braid with the cut sides facing up in a greased 9x5 loaf pan. If that sounds too confusing for you, I highly recommend watching a video on Youtube. Sometimes having a visual is a lot more helpful.
Don't worry if your braid isn't perfect, mine definitely wasn't! But that's the beauty of babkas, they're all unique.
Proof the dough for a second time until puffy and bake in the oven for 50 minutes - 1 hour at 350 degrees F.
If the tops of the babka start to brown too quickly from the jam, tent the top with aluminum foil. Remove the babka from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
You can serve this raspberry lychee rose babka warm or at room temperature. I'm a big fan of babka and the flavors in this one won me over. Bread with jam? How you can go wrong with that?
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