I said it and I did it. Ladies and gentlemen: my babka with wild garlic pesto is here!
Using the same recipe for brioche bread but with a couple of tweaks to make it savory, I made the most delicious and fluffiest babka ever. So good that it didn’t last more than 24 hours.
If you can’t forage wild garlic, you can replace it with any other type of pesto and you can even add sun-dried tomatoes and olives like I did.
Scroll down to read the full recipe and if the instructions for shaping the babka sound too complicated, check out all the tutorials on YouTube, it's easier than it seems!
320ml unsweetened soy or almond milk
390g bread flour
5g dry yeast
20g sugar + 1 tsp
1 tbsp flaxseed
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp coconut oil (or vegan butter)
1 small jar wild garlic pesto
In a saucepan, mix 200ml unsweetened soy milk with 40gr bread flour. Bring it to a boil, whisk and when it thickens, turn off the heat and set it aside to cool.
In another saucepan, heat the remaining milk (120ml), but make sure you don’t overheat it or it will kill the yeast. Pour the lukewarm milk into a bowl and add the dry yeast with 1 tsp of sugar. Mix and set aside to activate for 10 minutes.
In a bowl mix 1tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp water and set aside to thicken for 10 minutes. This will be the egg replacement.
Once your yeast is active with bubbles on and the roux has cooled, mix them together. Then add the egg replacement, the remaining sugar, salt and keep mixing. Start adding bit by bit the rest of the flour, and when the mixture gets thick, knead with your hands. Keep on until the dough is smooth, add 2 tbsp coconut oil and knead until this has completely melted.
Place the dough into a big bowl, cover and let it rise until it doubles in size (about 3 hours).
When ready, flip it over on a floured surface, stretch it with a rolling pin (about 5mm thick) and give it a rectangular shape. Spread the pesto or your favourite filling, then roll the dough into a long log and pinch it closed, sealing the seam and the ends. Using a knife, cut the log in half lengthwise and don’t worry if it gets messy!
Twist each strip and pinch them together at both ends. Place the babka in a greased loaf pan and let it rise for about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven at 180°C and bake it for about 45 minutes.
The smell is incredible and you will feel too tempted not to try it right out of the oven, but be patient and try it once it has cooled: it will be easier to slice and it will taste a lot better!