Soft and fluffy Cheddar Everything Babka Buns. These individually portioned muffin buns are loaded with cheddar cheese and everything bagel seasoning mix.
Inspiration for recipes can come from anywhere. These cheddar everything babka buns were inspired by the seeded babka buns I stumbled upon in the latest issue of the King Arthur Flour baker’s catalog.
The original recipe’s instructions regarding shaping was a bit confusing. I reworked it to create a much simpler, straight-forward method.
Cheddar Babka Buns
What’s not to love about everything seasoning mix?! It can be sprinkled on everything- from pastas to scrambled eggs to avocado toast and more!
Fans of everything bagels will love these cheddar everything babka buns. These muffin buns are soft, fluffy, and packed with flavor.
They’re individually portioned and perfect for breakfast or as an on the go snack.
And of course, they’re fun to pull apart and eat!
Muffin Babka Buns Ingredients:
- Active Dry Yeast
- Dry Mixture (bread flour, all-purpose flour, non-fat milk powder, sugar, salt)
- Wet Mixture (water, milk, unsalted butter)
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Everything Bagel Seasoning Mix
Active Dry Yeast
This recipe can be made with active dry yeast or instant yeast.
Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved and rehydrated in water before being added to other ingredients. Whereas, instant yeast is mixed directly into the dry ingredients.
Regardless, I prefer to use active dry yeast. Scroll down for the section on Active Dry Yeast vs Instant Yeast.
Use a combination of bread flour and all-purpose flour to give these babka buns chew. If you don’t have bread flour, simply sub in all-purpose flour.
Non-fat milk powder is also labeled as instant dry milk or instant milk powder. This adds protein and flavor to the dough without the addition of more moisture.
Find non-fat milk powder in the baking aisle along side cans of evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk.
A combination of water, milk, and unsalted butter hydrate the dough.
This recipe contains no eggs!
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Any kind of cheddar cheese will work. I prefer sharp cheddar cheese for its rich flavor.
Sub in medium or mild cheddar cheese which has more buttery, creamy notes.
It’s always best to buy block cheese that can you shred at home. Packaged pre-shredded cheese tends to be dry and bland.
Everything Bagel Seasoning Mix
The iconic everything bagel seasoning mix is a mixture of white and black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, dried garlic flakes, and coarse sea salt.
Mix together this seasoning at home or simply purchase pre-made blends at the supermarket. Many brands now carry this popular seasoning mix.
I love Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend.
How to Assemble Babka Buns
This dough is easily mixed together in a stand mixer using a dough hook. However, it can also be mixed by hand and kneaded on the table with a little effort.
- The mixed dough is allowed to rest for about one hour until doubled in size. Then, it is deflated.
- Roll dough out to a 12×18-inch rectangle. Spread softened butter all over.
- Sprinkle everything seasoning mix and shredded cheddar cheese over butter. Starting at the longer end, roll dough into a tight log.
- Gently stretch and pull log until it is 24-inches in length. Cut into two equal parts, 12-inches long each. Place log seam side up, slice lengthwise to expose filling. Braid the dough into a twist. Repeat with other log.
Slice each log into three 4-inch pieces. You will end up with six pieces that fit perfectly into this giant muffin tin.
Place cut babka filling side up into the buttered muffin tin. Cover with plastic wrap and proof for about one hour until dough has expanded and risen.
Note about the muffin pan:
I used this 6-cup nonstick muffin pan. The pan measures at 14″x10.25″ and has six cavities each measuring 3.75″x 1.75″.
After about an hour at room temperature, the dough will puff up and rise. Sprinkle tops with additional everything seasoning mix and shredded cheese.
Bake in a 400 degree F oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool in tin for about 5 minutes. Unmold and cool on wire rack. Brush with melted butter before serving.
Afraid of working with yeast?
Don’t be! Have no fear when armed with a digital kitchen thermometer.
Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved and re-activated in warm liquid before mixing with other ingredients. Ideally, you want the warm liquid to be between 100-115 degrees F.
Too cold and the yeast won’t wake up. Too hot and the yeast may die.
Active Dry Yeast vs. Instant Yeast
While instant yeast may seem more convenient, I still prefer to use active dry yeast.
Active dry yeast is dissolved in warm liquid before being added to the remaining ingredients. This extra step confirms whether the yeast is still good to use, or whether it has expired.
Good yeast will foam up and smell like beer after 5 or so minutes. If the yeast mixture does not bubble or smell of beer, it’s probably past its prime. Signaling it’s time to purchase some new yeast.
Instant yeast is mixed directly with the dry ingredients. There’s no telling whether the yeast is still good until the dough is allowed to rest and proof.
If the dough doesn’t rise, that means the instant yeast is past its prime. And, it’s time to start the dough recipe all over again.
Tips for Mixing Together Yeast Dough:
- Use a kitchen thermometer to ensure the yeast is activated in proper temperature liquids.
- Temperature also affects dough rising and proofing times. Optimal temperature is in the mid 70s, around temperature.
- Keep the dough covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to prevent unwanted “skin” from forming on surface of dough.
These babka muffin buns are a little crisp on the outside. Yet, they’re soft and fluffy on the inside.
It’s fun to pull apart the layers and eat these buns with whipped cream cheese or chunks of hard cheese.
Storage and Leftovers
Enjoy these buns warm, fresh the oven. Ideally, serve these the same day they are baked.
To store leftovers, completely babka buns to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 2 days.
To keep the cheddar everything babka buns moist, place a glass of water in the microwave along with the bread roll. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until the bread is hot.
Microwaves work by heating the water molecules in food through increased friction. Simply, heating a piece of bread as is will cause the bread to dry out. The addition of the glass of water helps to keep the bread moist.
Alternatively, gently warm bread in a toaster oven using the “roll reheat” setting.
Cheddar Everything Babka Buns
- 1 ½ teaspoon dry active yeast
- ½ cup warm water, about 100-110°F
- ¼ cup whole milk, room temperature or warm
- 1 ⅔ cup (206 g) bread flour
- ¾ cup (98 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoon (20 g) instant non-fat milk powder
- 1 Tablespoon (14 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoon (28 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tablespoon (30 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (60 g) shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
- 2 Tablespoon everything seasoning mix,* plus more for topping
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and milk. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes to allow yeast to activate. Mixture should smell like beer.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together bread flour, all-purpose flour, milk powder, sugar and salt. Attach dough hook to stand mixer.
- Add yeast mixture and softened butter to mixing bowl. Mix dough on low speed until dough forms, about 3-5 minutes. Detach dough hook. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Let dough rest covered for 10 minutes.
- Reattach dough hook. Knead dough on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and let rest for 60-90 minutes at room temperature until doubled in volume.
Filling and Assembly:
- Butter giant muffin tin. Set aside.
- Punch down risen dough. Transfer to a floured work surface. Roll dough to a 12×18-inch rectangle.
- Spread softened butter all over dough. Sprinkle shredded cheese and everything seasoning mix on top.
- Startling at the longer end, roll dough into a tight log. Gently stretch and pull log until it is 24-inches in length.
- Cut log into two equal parts, 12-inch long each. Place log seam side up and slice lengthwise to expose filling. Braid the dough into a twist, making sure filling remains exposed. Repeat with other log.
- Slice each log in three 4-inch pieces. You will end up with six pieces.
- Place cut babka filling side up into buttered muffin tin. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and proof for about 1 hour at room temperature until dough has puffed up and expanded to fill the muffin cavity.
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove plastic wrap cover. Sprinkle babka buns with additional cheese and seasoning, as desired. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool in tin for 5 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Unmold and cool on wire rack. Serve warm.
- To make your own everything seasoning mix: toss together 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, 1/4 cup poppy seeds, 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes, 2 tablespoons dried garlic flakes, and 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt.
- If you don’t have bread flour, simply sub in all-purpose flour. However, resulting bread will not have as much “chew.”
- Use any kind of cheddar cheese: sharp, mild, medium, etc.