Feta & Za'atar Babka

Living in Kuwait, I see how bread is of the utmost importance here. It's the lifeblood of every meal.  There are so many creative bakeries and eateries that take traditional breads to the next level. It's so inspiring to see.  Babka is doing its rounds here at the moment. Particularly, chocolate. I made a fantastic enriched yeast dough that is perfect for sweet and savoury creations. It could pass off as brioche. So I baked a babka with olive oil, za'atar and creamy feta cheese. So good! This dough is enough for 2 babka loaves, so I suggest making a sweet Nutella one too! Please excuse me for not having a proper image of the Nutella babka. With all the excitement and aromas wafting throughout our apartment, I forgot to photograph it as we were too busy doing QC which led to smashing most of it in our gobs. Below you will find a pic what we managed to salvage. Oops. Anyway, here's the recipe. Feel free to play around with different ingredients available to you. Pesto, grated cheese, olives, fresh herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, caramel, apples, banana, jam. The options are endless.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 2 loaves


Babka dough (enriched dough)

  • 3 ½ c (450 g) all-purpose flour
  • 80 ml (⅓ c) sugar
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) dry active yeast
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 180 ml (¾ c) warm milk
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 60 g butter cut into blocks and softened to room temperature

Feta and Za’atar filling:

  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 100 g feta cheese crumbed
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) Za’atar spice
  • Coarse salt

Nutella Filling:

  • 180 ml (¾ c) heated Nutella (so it is easier to spread), cooled slightly
  • Optional chopped nuts
  • Egg wash for brushing


  • Place half of the flour in a large mixing bowl with sugar, yeast and salt.
  • Add the warm milk and mix until well combined.
  • Add the remaining flour, eggs and softened butter. Mix until a dough comes together.
  • Dough should be a bit sticky and soft. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth (about 5 minutes).
  • Place back into the bowl and cover. Allow to proof in a warm area for 1 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Knock the dough down and divide into two portions.
  • For the feta and za’atar babka: Roll 1 portion of dough out as thin as possible on a floured surface. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle evenly with feta and za’atar. Season a little salt. Roll up tightly like a swiss roll.
  • Cut the roll in half down the length and braid (twist) the two dough strands together (exposing the cut sides). Tuck into a baking paper lined loaf tin. Brush with extra olive oil.
  • Bake at 180 °C for +- 30 minutes or until golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Use the same method for the remaining portion of dough and Nutella filling. Brush with egg wash before baking.
  • Happy baking!


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!