SimplyGrand Dishing with Steph: Pimiento Cheese Babka

You know when someone asks you what one food you would eat if you could only eat that food for the rest of your life? I can never stick to just one, I can’t live without bread and cheese. So, I’ve been eyeing Molly Yeh’s recipe for Pimiento Cheese Babka (p. 181) since I purchased her cookbook, Molly on the Range, a few years ago.

Tools and Ingredients:

  • Most of the ingredients I needed for this recipe were already in my pantry. I picked up cheese and pimientos at Hugo’s.
  • I used the dough hook on my KitchenAid mixer to take care of most of the kneading of the bread. Every time I take out my mixer I think of my mom. She loved to bake and cook; I remember her giving me the mixer at my bridal shower. My mom passed away six years ago, I really feel connected to her when I use her recipes and I hope to pass along my love for cooking to my children.
  • I checked the bread during the last few minutes of baking with my instant read digital kitchen thermometer. This is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen.

Making the Babka:

I started by making half the recipe for Molly’s Basic Challah (found on page 176). I’ve been wanting to try the challah recipe, so I got to kill two birds with one stone by making this. I followed Molly’s recipe exactly and the dough came together quickly and easily.

While the dough was rising, I prepped the ingredients for the filling. My daughter, Helen, helped shred the cheese. She always jumps at the chance to shred cheese.

The dough was a beautiful yellow color and easy to handle. I rolled it out and sprinkled the filling over the top. I took some guessing at exactly how to fold the twisted bread in half. I let the bread rise again before going into the oven.

Tips and Tricks:

I like to use a Silpat (silicone baking mat) or parchment paper when I and kneed and roll out bread. It keeps the dough from sticking and makes cleanup easy.


The kitchen smelled amazing, filled with the scent of baked bread and savory filling. A couple of friends came over just as the bread came out of the oven. Sipping cocktails helped pass the time while we waited for the babka to cool before slicing into it. The crust was a rich brown color, the loaf was swirled with cheese, pimientos, and spices. We ate the bread, still warm from the oven, with some soft butter on the side. It was delicious! I loved the combination of pepper and onions and of course, the best part, the cheese!

The challah dough has been one of my favorite bread doughs I have made so far. I enjoyed how simple it was to prepare and how easy it was to work with. I plan on using Molly’s Basic Challah recipe again soon and will experiment by baking a chocolate or a cinnamon babka.

I have enjoyed trying out recipes from Molly Yeh’s cookbook and sharing the results with you. Feel free to share your favorite recipes with me. You can reach me at or post to VisitGrandForks on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.