What a beauty! This babka is as pretty to look at as it's delicious. It's fluffy and filled with pesto (!!), so so good. The perfect thing to dip in a butternut soup, it's just incredibly addictive.
For the pesto, I made it creamier and less oily than usual because I wanted it to stick to the dough while cooking and it worked pretty well! Look at this pretty marbling.
You can prep the dough the night before and put it in the fridge overnight. Same for the pesto. This way, the next day, you just have to assemble and bake it. I loveee recipes where you can prep things ahead, you get to eat an elaborate homemade meal without spending the day making it.
Pesto babka :
For the dough :
- 1 packet of dried yeast (5g)
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp salt
- 20cl milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 50g butter + 2 tbsp
- 400g flour
For the pesto :
- 50g basil
- 50g grated parmesan
- 50g pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
To make the pesto, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the dough, warm up the milk (40°C/105°F max). Add it to a big bowl with yeast and sugar. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Add flour, softened butter, egg yold and salt to the bowl. Mix it with a wooden spoon until the dough is sticky.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead it for 7 to 10 minutes. It must be elastic and not sticky.
Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 2 hours.
If you're making the dough the day before, it's time to refrigerate it. Take it out of the fridge 2h before shaping it because it needs to be at room temperature.
Preheat the oven at 180°C/350°F.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until you get a thin large rectangle.
Spread the pesto in a thin layer onto the dough.
Roll it tightly.
Cut it in two lengthwise (see video of shaping here).
Braid the 2 pieces together.
Put it in a cake tin covered with parchment paper.
Brush it with the 2 tbsp melted butter.
Bake for 45-55 minutes. It must be golden brown.
Let it rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing it.