Savoury babka loaf

Savoury babka loaf
  • Serves icon Makes 1 large loaf (serves 6-8)
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, plus rising, proving and cooling

Babka’s rich brioche dough is a great partner for savoury fillings. Our babka loaf is threaded with truffle pesto, herbs, pine nuts and ricotta.

With its swirls of cinnamon-spiced choc, our chocolate babka loaf is an unmissable sweet treat.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
400kcals
Fat
21.4g (3.3g saturated)
Protein
9.8g
Carbohydrates
40.8g (2.7g sugars)
Fibre
2.6g
Salt
2.3g
Calories
400kcals
Fat
21.4g (3.3g saturated)
Protein
9.8g
Carbohydrates
40.8g (2.7g sugars)
Fibre
2.6g
Salt
2.3g

Ingredients

  • 400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  •  1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 7g fast-action dried yeast
  • 50ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for the bowl
  • 1 medium free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • 180ml lukewarm water
  • 1-2 tbsp whole milk to glaze
  • Salt flakes to sprinkle

For the filling

  • 165g jar truffle and artichoke pesto (we used Belazu; from large supermarkets)
  • 200g pitted queen olives (such as gordal), roughly chopped
  • Large handful mixed herbs, finely chopped (we used parsley, thyme and rosemary)
  • 50g ricotta salata or pecorino cheese, finely grated
  • 50g pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan (optional)
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon (optional)

You’ll also need…

  •  900g (2lb) loaf tin, about 25cm x 13cm x 6cm deep, greased and lined

Method

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In a jug, whisk the oil, egg and water. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix on a low speed until the dough comes together (about 3 minutes). If there are still dry bits visible, add a little more water, 1 tbsp at a time, to form a soft but not sticky dough. Turn the speed to medium and knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and springy. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form a ball. Lightly oil the mixing bowl, then return the dough to the bowl. Cover with a large plate and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead 2-3 times to remove any large air pockets. Roll out to a rectangle roughly 40cm x 25cm. Spread the pesto over the dough, leaving a 1-2cm border along each long edge. Sprinkle the remaining filling ingredients evenly over the pesto. Starting from one of the long edges, roll up the dough into a tight sausage, pressing gently to seal the seam.
  3. Cut the sausage in half lengthways, then twist the 2 pieces together to form a swirl or rope twist (don’t worry if it’s a bit messy). Carefully transfer the twisted babka to the prepared tin, tucking the ends underneath. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside to prove for 40 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
  4. Heat the oven to 180°C fan/gas 6. Brush the top of the loaf with a little milk. Sprinkle the top with a little salt, then bake the babka for 35-45 minutes. Check after 25 minutes – if it’s browning quickly, cover loosely with foil. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool. Slice to serve.

delicious. tips

  1. If you prefer, swap the truffle pesto for a chilli, tomato or classic pesto, and play around with the herbs.

    To make the bread without a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg, oil and water. Mix with a round-bladed knife until the dough comes together, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and bouncy.

Recipe By

Jess Meyer

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