Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Babka

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Time for a savory babka recipe. I made a pesto with sun-dried tomatoes and cashew nuts. The result is a bread that reminds of pizza. Besides eating it plain, you can cut two thin slices, place some cheese in between and then waffle it. Yes, it’s good! It gets crispy on the outside and melted cheese on the inside. Heaven!

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This recipe is for one large babka (25cm loaf pan)

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

7grs of dry yeast

½ cup of warm water

½ cup of milk

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon of sugar

For the sun-dried tomato pesto:

180gr of sun-dried tomatoes preserved in oil, drained

½ cup of unsalted cashew nuts

40gr of grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons of dried basil

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 teaspoon of lime juice

1 teaspoon of sugar

½ cup of tomato puree

Pinch of salt

Chili flakes to taste

Extra:

Egg wash

 

Place the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes are up, add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. If you knead it by hand, do it for about 10 minutes.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and grease it with a bit of vegetable oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

While the dough is rising, start making the pesto. Place all of the ingredients for the pesto in the food processor. Pulse until you have a paste and everything is mixed through. Place it on a bowl and set it aside until ready to use.

Once the dough has risen, divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll out one piece into a rectangle of about 34x26cm. Spread half of the pesto all over the dough. Then roll it like a tight crepe. Repeat for the remaining piece of dough.

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Once you have two filled logs, grab one and make a clean slice over the middle. But leave the top part attached. Then twist it trying to keep the open side up. Repeat for the other log. Then twist the two logs together, slice off the uneven edges. Then pinch the edges to seal them and tuck them underneath. Place the babka in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Cover it with a piece of greased plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 15 minutes before the second rise is up, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Brush the babka with the egg wash. Bake it for about 20-25 minutes or until golden.

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Coconut & Dulce de Leche Rolls with Coconut Icing (And Babka)

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I can’t get enough of sweet breads and trying out different flavors. The combination of toasted dried coconut with dulce de leche is amazing. For this recipe you will need one can of full fat coconut milk, left undisturbed in the fridge overnight for the cream to separate from the liquid. I used the liquid for the dough and the creamy thick part that separated for the icing. If it happens that it didn’t separate the next day, just get some coconut cream and use it instead to make the icing. This has happened to me before and I tried using different brands of coconut milk. So no worries if it doesn’t happen. I used 1/5 of the dough to make a tiny babka. Just look at all those layers of dulce de leche and toasted coconut.

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babka fixed

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3 ½ cups of All-purpose flour

7gr dry yeast

1 cup of coconut milk

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup of sugar

1 egg

For the filling:

2 cups of dulce de leche

2 cups of toasted dried coconut

For the egg wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon of water

For the icing:

½ cup of coconut cream (full fat)

1/3 cup of icing sugar or more if you want a thicker consistency

 

First leave a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Be careful not to shake it, you want the cream to separate from the liquid. The next morning, open the can and carefully scrape off the top creamy part. Place it in a small bowl and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. Reserve the liquid to make the dough and let it come to room temperature.

For the filling, just toast the dried coconut in a pan (no oil) over medium heat. Just stir until the coconut gets a light brown color. Set it aside to cool down.

To make the dough, place 1 cup of the coconut liquid with the yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it sit there for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes are up, add the flour, salt, sugar, butter and the egg. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. You can also knead it by hand (for about 10 minutes).

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

You can bake the rolls in an oven dish or in a cast iron skillet. If you use an oven dish lightly grease it with some butter. For the cast iron skillet, I just lined it with parchment paper this time.

Once the hour has passed, place the dough on your floured working area. Punch it down. I reserved 1/5 of the dough to make a tiny babka (in a  9x18cm loaf pan). But you can make it all into rolls.

Roll it out into a large rectangle, of about 38x32cm. Spread some of the dulce de leche evenly all over the dough but leave about 1 cm free on the edges. If the dulce de leche is too hard, place it in the microwave for 15 seconds to make it more spreadable. Then sprinkle the toasted coconut all over the dulce de leche. Roll the dough like a tight crepe. Slice off the uneven edges. Then slice the log into even pieces of about 2cm thick. Arrange them on the prepared baking dish or skillet, leaving a bit of space in between each one. Cut out a big piece of plastic wrap, brush it with some vegetable oil and cover the rolls with it (greased side touching the rolls).

If you saved some dough to make the babka, here is how to do it:

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll out one piece into a rectangle. Spread it with some dulce de leche and sprinkle some of the toasted coconut over it. Then roll it like a tight crepe.

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Do the same for the remaining piece. Once you have two filled logs, grab one and make a clean slice over the middle. But leave the top part attached. Then twist it trying to keep the open side up. Repeat for the other log. Then twist the two logs together and pinch the edges to seal them. Tuck the edges underneath. Place the babka in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Cover it with a piece of greased plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 15 minutes before the second rise is up, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the rolls have risen, brush them with some egg wash and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden. The same goes for the babka.

Once the rolls and babka are baked, start making the frosting. Take out the coconut cream from the fridge and place it in a medium bowl. Slowly add the icing sugar while whisking. Add more sugar if you like it less runny. Drizzle some of the coconut icing over the rolls. For the babka, I served it on the side. Enjoy!

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