Blueberry Mascarpone Babka with Lemon Curd Glaze

Freeze-dried blueberries are a wonderful alternative to fresh berries, whose high water content makes them difficult to incorporate into this already wet dough. With a sweet berry swirl to echo summer’s haul, this Blueberry Mascarpone Babka is as bright as they come. Find more sweet yeast bread recipes in our new Bread 2020 special issue.

Blueberry Mascarpone Babka
Makes 1 (9x5-inch) loaf
  • ½ cup (120 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 1¼ teaspoons (4 grams) active dry yeast
  • 2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3½ tablespoons (42 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (2 grams) lemon zest
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (141 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 1 large egg white (30 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
  • Mascarpone Filling (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup (46 grams) freeze-dried blueberries
  • Lemon Curd Glaze (recipe follows)
  1. In a small bowl, gradually whisk together warm milk and yeast. Let stand until mixture is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, zest, and salt. Stir in eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, gradually add yeast mixture, beating until dough comes together. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat for 5 to 7 minutes. Test dough using the windowpane test (see page 85). If dough is not ready, beat 1 minute more, and test again.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. With mixer on medium-high speed, add butter in three additions, letting each addition incorporate before adding the next. Beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4 to 6 minutes more. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover surface of dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. On a heavily floured surface, roll dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Spread Mascarpone Filling onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border.
  6. In the container of a blender, blend freeze-dried blueberries to a fine powder. Sprinkle ¼ cup (32 grams) blueberry powder over Mascarpone Filling.
  7. Starting with one long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style, and pinch seam to seal. (If dough is getting too warm and difficult to work with, refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes before proceeding.) Using a bench scraper, trim 1 inch off ends, and place in center of prepared pan. Cut roll in half lengthwise. Carefully twist dough halves tightly around each other, pinching and tucking ends to seal. Place loaf over trimmed ends in prepared pan, cut sides up. (Gently compress ends of loaf to make it fit in pan.) Brush dough with egg wash. Cover and let rest in a warm,draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. Bake for 15 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake, rotating pan every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 55 to 65 minutes more. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Drizzle with Lemon Curd Glaze.

Mascarpone Filling
Makes ½ cup
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon (7 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  1. In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients until combined.

Lemon Curd Glaze
Makes ¼ cup
  • ¼ cup (85 grams) Lemon Curd (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons (14 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) heavy whipping cream
  1. In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients until combined.

Lemon Curd
Makes 1 cup
  • ½ cup (120 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (62 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) cornstarch
  1. In a small saucepan, heat lemon juice and butter over medium heat until butter is melted.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until pale yellow. Add a small amount of hot lemon mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add egg mixture to remaining hot lemon mixture in pan, whisking to combine. Cook until thickened and beginning to boil, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour Lemon Curd into glass bowl. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.


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  1. Unlike your other babka recipes that say to start the rolling up on a short side, this one says to roll starting with a long side. Is this correct for this recipe?

  2. My dough did not rise at all. The milk was at the correct temperature and the yeast foamed when added. Any ideas? I’ve made bread a number of times and never had this happen before.

    • Hi Alexis,

      Thank you for your question, and I’m sorry you had difficulties with this recipe!

      There are a few things that could be going wrong.
      1. Too much salt will inhibit the rising power of yeast, so it’s incredibly important that you weigh your salt.
      2. The dough might’ve required more time in the mixer. Under kneaded dough won’t form the necessary gluten networks to maintain the structure of the dough as it rises.
      3. It’s possible that some of yeast was active, but not enough of it. This is a heavy enriched dough, so if your yeast doesn’t become quite foamy after 5 minutes, we recommend trying new yeast.

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!


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