Pimento Cheese Babka

Pimento Cheese Babka | Sarcastic Cooking

Oh those poor celebrities, complaining about the show being long and being deprived even a bite of food for so many hours while The Golden Globes go on and on. Hey! Bozos, you are on the west coast. Try keeping up with this on central standard time. Yeah, it’s 9pm here and this party is still raging for you guys. Meanwhile, I have toothpicks holding my eyelids open because, God forbid, I miss some pop culture reference tomorrow (which will totally make me feel old as balls).

It’s bad enough Mike has no clue about what songs are hip or which shows are the new “Friends.” I can’t be in the uncool, unaware couple.

Not ready to be that old.

Yet.

Alright, Golden Globes aside. Let’s talk carbs. I bet all those actors and actresses wished they had a slice of bread in their bags or pockets to help get them through the night.

This, my friends, is the year of carbs. And cheese. As you could probably tell from my first recipe of the new year.

Pimento Cheese Babka | Sarcastic Cooking

I decided that if I bake more and control what goes into my food, why not eat as much bread and carbs as I want? A long, long time ago, I made a sourdough starter and baked sourdough bread on the reg. I want to get back to that. There is something about kneading dough and knowing from the feel of it just when it is ready. I was scared by this phenomenon when I first started blogging. Now, I want to get back to that feeling of doing things because I like them. I never want this blog to be a place where I come to give you a recipe I think will go viral for the sake of going viral.

Know what I am saying?

Pimento Cheese Babka | Sarcastic Cooking

It is not easy to juggle real life with the blog life. Once I had kids, I cut back like a lot! I went from 5 recipes a week to one. Yeah, one. Sometimes, not even one. I don’t think people realize how many mundane hours are spent plugging links and trying to keep up with whoever started this latest trend of videos being the thing blogs need to be relevant. I want to punch that first video person in the face. It is hard to get paid for blogging without jamming your site with ads or talking about sponsored brands in every post.

I just want to write blurbs that you might relate to and dare I say, comment on!

Pimento Cheese Babka | Sarcastic Cooking

So, I can promise you that my blog will always be my true self and all the recipes will be real life stuff that I love and am excited about. If ever it feels like I am losing that, well then, I will take a step back. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a break.

To get back to that first year of blogging feeling, I looked to my first blog friend. I made her pimento cheese recipe and stuffed it inside of the challah recipe from my favorite cookbook from last year, Molly on the Range. It is perfect for grilled cheese or BLT’s or just simply toasted with butter or even avocado toast.

Bread is life.

Make it. Cut it in half. Freeze half. Because when you need to go to the store for bread but then realize this is in your freezer, you win at life. This beats any store bought bread ever!

Pimento Cheese Babka

The ultimate Southern staple weaving in and out of sweet and crunchy challah bread.
Prep Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 2 Loaves

Ingredients

For the Pimento Cheese:

  • 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped jarred pimentos
  • ½-1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For the Challah:

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoons plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • egg wash: 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water

Instructions

  1. Combine the yeast, water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Let sit for five minutes until frothy.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, salt, and remaining sugar. In a separate small bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, and honey.
  3. Add the frothy yeast mixture to the flour mixture followed by the egg mixture and stir until combined. With the hook attachment on medium, knead until smooth and slightly sticky, about 7-10 minutes. Add more flour as needed.
  4. Transfer the dough to a an oiled bowl. Cover in plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours until doubled in size.
  5. Divide the dough in half, form into a 10x14 inch rectangle. Spread half the mixture on to the dough, leaving a 1 inch border. Roll the long edge up to the other long edge to form a jelly roll. Pinch the edges shut. Use a long serrated knife to cut the roll in half length wise.
  6. Turn each half so it is filling side up. Twist the two pieces of dough around one another. Fold the dough in half and place in a greased loaf pan. Let the loaf rise for 30 minutes.
  7. While the loaf rises, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  8. Brush the top of the dough with egg wash. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Transfer to wire rack to completely cooling.

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  • Supriya Kutty
    January 11, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Oh my gosh this looks so good! I am over here drooling over this dish right now. I am all over this. I can’t even stop starring.

    • Stefanie
      January 11, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks!

  • Julie
    January 10, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    If you hold down the original video person, I’ll do the punching. Seriously. I thought that they would float away but they are only getting worse. Don’t worry. I know a whole bunch that just can’t/aren’t jumping off the cliff with everyone else. Your babies are much more important. Well, and this bread. haha

    • Stefanie
      January 11, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      Right?!?!? I just read something that by 2020 all content on the web will be videos. Barf! I am hoping to just stick with my little point and shoot. We can’t beat everybody up. Too bad.

  • mary clay | the open oven
    January 10, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    This IS the way to this Southern girl’s heart. This babka looks beautiful – thank you for sharing!

    • Stefanie
      January 11, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Hey, no problem! Thanks for commenting!

  • Stephie
    January 10, 2017 at 7:34 am

    GIRL. GIRL. GIRL. GIRL. I’m so excited I can’t even speak!! THIS FOR AVO TOAST! YOURE A GENIUS!

    Ok seriously. I am so proud of you making proper pimento cheese and then baking with it. Like, about to explode proud. Ah! I can’t even take it. I love you.

    • Stefanie
      January 10, 2017 at 8:11 am

      I knew if I was making pimento cheese, I had to turn to the Swope women!

  • Ashleigh @Dash of Evans
    January 9, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Yummm! I’ve been obsessed with pimento cheese lately. This looks SO GOOD. I don’t know if I could freeze half though…I might be able to save half for the fam though. Maybe.

    • Stefanie
      January 10, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Hahahah! I just always freeze stuff because I fear it will get moldy before I am able to use it.