- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 150 milliliters water (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons, at body temperature, if you dip your finger in, you shouldn't feel a temperature difference)
- 250 grams all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for brushing)
- 200 grams fresh goat cheese
- 20 grams fresh herbs (1 cup, loosely packed mixed, such as flat-leaf parsley, chervil, basil, mint, chives..., roughly chopped)
- In a bowl, combine the yeast with the water and stir to dissolve. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, until a thin foamy layer forms at the surface. If it doesn't, start again with a fresh packet of yeast.
- Put the flour, salt, and olive oil in the bowl of the KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Stand Mixer fitted with the dough hook.
- Add in the yeast and water, and knead at medium speed for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
- In a bowl, mash the herbs and the goat cheese together with a fork.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Stretch it with your hands to form a rough 40-cm (16-inch) square. Spread the goat cheese mixture onto the square, leaving a 5-cm (2-inch) margin on the left-hand side.
- Roll up the dough snugly starting from the right-hand side. Place the roll on a cookie sheet or a tray, and place it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up.
- Slice the roll in two lengthwise to get two long "ropes”. Pinch the ropes together on one end, then braid the two ropes together, keeping their cut sides up.
- Transfer the braided dough to a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Bake the babka for 35 to 40 minutes, until risen and golden brown.