Looking for ways to creatively use up your leftover Thanksgiving dinner turkey? How about a Babka bread, using said turkey (or just sliced deli turkey) and lots of Parmesan cheese? Really, any savory filling would be delicious here. Marinara with lots of mozzarella and basil, pesto and roasted chicken. The possibilities are endless! Hope you give this one a try. Enjoy!
Turkey and Cheese Babka
Ingredients for the Dough:
1 cup whole milk, warmed to 110-115 degrees F
3 teaspoons instant yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup sugar, divided
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, soften and cut into 12 pieces
Ingredients for the Filling:
1 brick cream cheese, softened at room
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoons crushed black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling the top
Sliced turkey breast, about 12 pieces
1. First, prepare the dough. Combine the warm milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk and let it stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. In a bowl combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and dried oregano. Set aside.
2. On a low speed using your dough attachment, add in the remaining sugar and the eggs. Slowly beat in the flour mixture just until it comes together. Next, add in the room temperature butter, one piece at a time, until the dough is tacky (but not sticky) and comes away from the sides, about 8-10 minutes total mixing time.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to a warm place for about 1 hour. After 1 hour, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and let it rest for 1 more hour, or until the dough has doubled in size and is firm to the touch.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine all filling ingredients except the turkey breast in a bowl until well mixed. Set aside.
5. Grease two 9 x 5 loaf pans, or one large 16 x 4 loaf pan; set aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and punch the dough down; if you are using two regular loaf pans divide into two relatively equal sizes. Leave one ball of dough in the bowl, covered. Roll the dough out into a 12 inch rectangle (or one 20-24 inch if making one long loaf).
6. Spread half of the filling over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border (or all of the filling, if making one long loaf). Roll the dough into long cylinder, gently but tightly. Place the dough cylinder into the refrigerator until firm. (Repeat the same with the second ball of dough, if making 2 regular sized loafs.) Once firm, cut the dough with a sharp knife down the middle to expose the filling, creating 2 long logs. Twist the dough logs together as though making a braid, making sure the exposed part is facing upward. Place the dough into prepared loaf pan(s) and leave in room temperature for 1 hour, covered with plastic wrap.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When the dough is done resting for its final hour, brush the tops with a little oil and sprinkle with the extra grated parmesan cheese. Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes, until the top is deep golden brown. The inside should register about 190 degrees F. Let the bread cool entirely in the loaf pan for better form (this will help the bread keep its shape). Enjoy!