I love the flavours found in baklava. The warming cinnamon and cardamom, the slightly almondy flavour of the pistachios and sweetness from golden honey. For this recipe, I have played around with those flavours to create a Baklava Babka recipe. A spiced almond and pistachio filling twisted and plaited amongst pillow-soft enriched dough to create a babka, which then gets a honey and cinnamon syrup lashed over the top once baked. Incredibly moreish and one slice really isn’t enough.
Let’s talk plaits! Don’t worry they won’t be as complicated as creating a fishtail plait in the hair of a moving 6-year-old singing along to Frozen. It looks more complicated than it actually is. As long as you remember to keep the cut edge upwards with the filling exposed then you’ve won half the battle. The easiest way is to cut the roll down the middle lengthways, roll each half so the cut is upwards. Cross the two pieces in the middle to form a cross, then keeping the cut upwards, lift over each other until twisted to the end. Repeat on the other side. Tuck in the ends and gently lift into the tin the cut always upright.
Equipment You'll NeedPrint
For the dough –
- 2tsp Dried Fast Active Yeast
- 330g Strong White Bread Flour
- 40g Caster Sugar
- A Pinch of Table Salt
- 1 Free Range Egg
- 85g Whole Milk
- 90g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
For the filling
- 100g Unsalted Butter, melted
- 190g Caster Sugar
- 1tsp Ground Cinnamon
- Fresh Ground Cardamom from 3 Pods
- 1 tsp Pistachio Extract, can omit if you can’t get hold of it
- 75g Ground Almonds
- 80g Pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1 Free Range Egg, beaten for the glaze
For the syrup
- 100ml Water
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 75g Honey
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- First, make the dough. In a stand mixer bowl, mix the yeast, flour, sugar and salt together with a hook attachment. Add the egg, milk and butter to the flour mixture, mix until combined on a medium speed and starting to form into a ball. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, make the filling, mix all the ingredients in a bowl except the pistachio. Mix to a spreadable paste.
- Roll the chilled dough on a lightly dusted surface and roll into a rectangle about 50cm x30cm. Spread the sugar/butter filling over the dough, right into the corners. Scatter over the chopped pistachios. Roll up tightly from the long side, so you have a 50cm log. Chill the dough for 30 minutes if it becomes too soft.
- Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and alongside with parchment, overhanging the edge to help to remove it later.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half along its length to expose the layers. Place the halves with the cuts facing upwards. Lift half over the other half so they are forming a cross, with the filling upwards, twist the ends. Place the plait into the tin. Leave to prove, until doubled in size, this can take up to 2 hours if you’re kitchen is cold, but normally takes about an hour and half.
- Whilst proving, make the syrup. Add all the ingredients in a small pan over a low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil for a few minutes then remove from the heat.
- Oven to 220C, brush the beaten egg over the top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the tin around and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 190C and bake for another 10 minutes. If it looks at any point it’s browning too quickly, cover with some foil so it doesn’t catch early.
- Remove from the oven and immediately pour over the sugar syrup all over the hot loaf. Leave to cool completely before removing or it will crumble.
- Remove from the tin and slice into thick slices and enjoy!
- Category: Bread, Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Fancy making another babka? Why not try a recipe for Raspberry and White Chocolate Babka?
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