Pizza Babka

This Pizza Babka is made with pizza dough, a simple tomato sauce, salami slices and mozzarella cheese. Brushed twice with a parsley olive oil and parmesan cheese combination, which makes this deliciously crunchy on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside. So good!

pizza babka on a wooden board with a slice cut

I recently made a Sourdough Sweet Babka, more on the traditional side, made with chocolate and nuts which I will be posting in the coming days. But when I heard about this Pizza Babka I knew I had to try it. Who can say no to Pizza? Well we can’t.

How to make it

In a stand up mixer or large bowl (if you decide to make it by hand) add the lukewarm water and a teaspoon of sugar, sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit 10 minutes.

Add half the flour and start to knead, then add the remaining flour, salt and olive oil. Knead for about 8-10 minutes or until soft and compact. The dough will be a little sticky but not unmanageable.

yeast and water in silver mixing bowl adding the flour, salt & oil, kneaded to form a dough

Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and form into a ball, place in a lightly oil bowl, roll the dough to cover lightly in the oil. Cover the bowl and let rise for approximately 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

dough in white bowl before & after rising

Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and roll into a rectangle, spread with the tomato sauce, top with slices of salami and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.

the dough rolled into a rectangle and toppings added on top

Roll the dough up lengthwise and pinch to close shut, cut it down the middle lengthwise, then slice in half, take the 2 halves and pinch the edges together to seal shut, then carefully cross over to form a braid.

the dough rolled, cut and braided

It will look messy but don’t worry it works. Place the braid in the prepared loaf pan, brush with the olive oil and garlic sauce, and bake. Halfway through baking, brush again with the garlic sauce and cover with foil if the loaf is browning too much.

the dough braid in the loaf pan before and after baked

Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes in the pan then move to a wire rack to cool 5-10 minutes more. Slice and serve.

Where did Babka originate

A babka is a sweet braided bread or cake which originated in the Jewish communities of Poland and Ukraine. It is popular in Israel and in the Jewish culture. Interesting to note that the Historian and food writer Lesley Chamberlain believes that the babka came up from Italy, which was brought by Queen Bona Sforza of Poland in the 16th century.

What is the best flour for making Pizza Dough?

To tell the truth, some people will swear by bread flour, but I always use all purpose (11% protein or higher). It’s not necessarily the flour but how you go about making the pizza that counts! Although if you prefer bread flour then by all means use it!

What is the best temperature for water?

I always make sure my water is lukewarm between 98-105F (36-40C). The water shouldn’t be hot or it will kill the yeast. You can even use room temperature water although it may take a little longer for your dough to rise, but longer rising time results in a more flavourful dough.

What to use to cover the dough?

I actually bought re usable plastic bowl covers from the dollar store that I wash and reuse rather than using plastic wrap every time. You could also use a clean cotton tea towel or even a cotton cover that is made for bread baking.

Make sure your Yeast is active

This is how to tell if your yeast is active, in a small bowl add about a 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, not hot because hot water will kill the yeast, add a teaspoon of sugar to the water. Then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of yeast over the top, let it sit for about 10 minutes. If the mixture bubbles and there is a yeasty aroma, then the yeast is good.

babka bread with a slice cut

How to store yeast

Unopened yeast can be stored in a cool location (pantry or cabinet). Once the yeast is opened, its best kept in the refrigerator, be sure to use it within 4 months, it will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Tips for making the Best Pizza Babka

  • Make sure your yeast is active.
  • Use thin sliced salami or pancetta or even thin strips of bacon.
  • Shred your own mozzarella, shredded bagged mozzarella is coated to keep it from sticking.
  • Change up the fillings with fresh sliced mushrooms, peppers or even grilled vegetables such as eggplant or zucchini.
  • Use different types of cheeses that melt well such as fontina, cheddar, gouda, provolone and Gruyere instead of mozzarella.

unsliced pizza babka on a wooden board

What is the difference between Pizza and Bread Dough?

The difference between Pizza and Bread dough is Pizza dough is made with a higher protein flour, bread dough usually has 2 rises whereas pizza just one, other than that, they both use the same ingredients, yeast, flour, salt and water.

How to Freeze Pizza Dough

Let the dough rise before freezing, then divide the dough into your desired pizza portions, place in airtight freezer bags and freeze. Dough will last up to 3 months in the freezer. Let dough thaw overnight in the fridge, then bring the dough to room temperature before using.

So if you are looking for a new way to make Pizza, why not try this Pizza Babka, and let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!

bakba and a slice on a wooden board

pizza babka on a wooden board with a slice cut

Pizza Babka

Rosemary Molloy
This Pizza Babka is made with pizza dough, a simple tomato sauce, salami slices and mozzarella cheese. Perfect and delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Rising Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Pizza / Focaccia
Cuisine American/Italian
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 2763 kcal

Ingredients
  

PIZZA DOUGH

  • 1 cup water (lukewarm) (235 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • cups all purpose or bread flour (divided) (325 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil

TOMATO SAUCE

  • ½ cup tomato puree/passata (112 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

GARLIC OLIVE OIL SAUCE

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1-2 pinches hot pepper flakes (if desired)

EXTRAS

  • 16-20 slices salami (thinly sliced)
  • 1½-2 cups firm mozzarella shredded

Instructions
 

PIZZA DOUGH

  • In a stand up mixer or large bowl (if you decide to make it by hand) add the lukewarm water and sugar, sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit 10 minutes.
  • Add half the flour and start to knead, then add the remaining flour, salt and olive oil. Knead for about 8-10 minutes or until soft and compact. The dough will be a little sticky but not unmanageable. 
  • Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and form into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, roll the dough in the oil to lightly cover. Cover the bowl and let rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  • Pre-heat oven to 400F (200C). Lightly oil a 9x5 inch (23x13 cm) loaf pan.
  • Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and roll into a thin 1/8'1/4" rectangle approximately 16x12 inches (41x33 cm), spread thinly with the tomato sauce leaving 1/4 inch border around the edge, top with slices of salami and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
  • Roll the dough up lengthwise and pinch the seams to close shut, cut it down the middle lengthwise, then slice in half, take the 2 halves and pinch the edges together to seal shut, then carefully cross over to form a braid. Gently push the bread together to make it a bit more compact.
  • Place the braid in the prepared loaf pan, brush with the olive oil and garlic sauce, and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes. Halfway through baking, brush again with the garlic sauce and cover with foil if the loaf is browning too much. 
    Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes in the pan then move to a wire rack to cool 5-10 minutes more. Slice and serve.

TOMATO SAUCE

  • In a small bowl mix together the passata, oregano, basil, olive oil and salt.

GARLIC OLIVE OIL SAUCE

  • In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and hot pepper flakes if using.

Nutrition

Calories: 2763kcalCarbohydrates: 264gProtein: 110gFat: 139gSaturated Fat: 47gCholesterol: 246mgSodium: 7307mgPotassium: 1756mgFiber: 15gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 2161IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 976mgIron: 21mg
Keyword pizza babka, savory babka
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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