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Pesto Babka

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Looking for the perfect bread recipe to make a splash during the holidays? Look no further! 

This unique flaky babka is the perfect bread for weekend brunches and gatherings with family and friends. It's surprisingly simple to make and has an incredible soft crumb and a tasty pesto filling. Your guests will love this delightful babka bread!

You can enjoy this fresh-baked bread just as is, dip it into homemade hummus or any other tasty spread or sauce!

Check out our related videos:
Chocolate Babka With Homemade Nutella Recipe
Top 6 Easy Sauce & Salad Dressing Recipes

Bon appétit!


Difficulty: pineapple gold pineapple graypineapple gray

Prep time: 45 mins / Cook time: 50 mins / Servings: 10 servings

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Pesto Babka

6.3 oz (180ml) - Milk

1 tbsp (11g) - Dry yeast

17½ oz (500g) - Flour

1 oz (30g) - Xylitol

½ tbsp (7g) - Sea salt flakes

2 - Eggs

1.6 oz (45g) - Butter

9.5 oz (270g) - Butter

6 oz (170g) - Pesto

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We advise that you prepare all the above ingredients before starting.

You will typically need: a scale, measuring cups, mixing bowls.

Pesto Babka

1 - Pour the milk into a bowl and microwave it for about 35 seconds (or until lukewarm). Next, mix in the dry yeast using a fork and set it aside.

Tip: We store our ingredients in these mixing bowls and mini glass bowls from Duralex while cooking. We love Duralex for their quality products and low prices!

2 - In a stand mixer bowl, combine the flour, salt, xylitol, 1.6 oz (45g) of butter, and the eggs. Then, start kneading these ingredients together using the hook attachment.

Tip: The KitchenAid Artisan Design Series and the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series are superstars among stand mixers and will look amazing in your kitchen!

For more information, check out our detailed article "The Best KitchenAid Mixers & Blenders".

3 - When the dough starts to form, slowly pour the milk and yeast mixture into it and knead it at low speed for about 5 minutes. Then, set it to medium speed and knead it for an additional 15 minutes. You know it's ready when the dough no longer sticks to the edges of the bowl and looks beautifully smooth.

4 - Grease a large bowl with grapeseed oil using a pastry brush. Then, place the dough in it and cover it with food wrap.

Tip: Help the planet by choosing biodegradable food wrap instead of plastic.

5 - Place the dough in a warm spot and let it proof for 45 minutes.

6 - Meanwhile, pre-fold parchment paper in a 7.9 x 6.7 inch (20 x 17 cm) rectangle. Then, re-open it and place the 9.5 oz (270g) of butter in the center. Fold it back into a rectangle and roll the butter out to perfectly fit the rectangular 11.8 x 7.9 inch (30 x 20 cm) shape using a rolling pin (marble/wood). Finally, place the rectangle of butter back into the refrigerator overnight.

7 - Pre-fold more parchment paper in a 7.9 x 6.7 inch (20 x 17 cm) rectangle. Then, re-open it and place the dough in the center. Fold it back into a rectangle and roll out the dough to perfectly fit the 11.8 x 7.9 inch (30 x 20 cm) rectangular shape. Finally, place the dough rectangle into the fridge overnight. 


The next day...


8 - Take the butter out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

9 - After 15 minutes, place the dough on a floured surface and slightly elongate the rectangle using a rolling pin (marble/wood).

10 - Place the butter in the center of the dough and fold each side over to cover the top of the butter. Then, press the sides of the dough together to completely seal in the butter. 

11 - Roll out the dough into a longer rectangle about ½ inch thick. Then, fold the left side of the dough into the ¼ of the dough. Next, fold the right side of the dough into the ¾ of the dough. The left and right sides should touch. Then, fold them again in half.

Tip: This step is also called "the lamination process". Check out the full lamination process video.

12 - Next, cut the folded sides with a sharp knife.

Tip: We recommend you use a chef's knife for this task. We love Japanese knives and recommend this quality kit from GLOBAL for home and professional chefs. We also love this reversible cutting board with integrated hand grips from John Boos.

13 - For the second fold, rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll it out into a longer rectangle about a ½ inch thick. Then, fold the bottom third into the center and fold the top third on top of the bottom third so that there are 3 layers of dough.

14 - Then again, cut the folded sides of the dough.

15 - Finally, wrap the dough in food wrap and refrigerate it for 2 hours.

16 - After 2 hours, place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out into a large rectangle.

17 - Add the pesto onto the dough and spread it all the way with a spatula. Then, tightly roll the dough.

18 - Once the dough is fully rolled, cut it lengthwise. Take the two halves and braid them together. Finally, place the braided dough into a round cake pan and cover it with a towel. Let it proof for 2 hours.

19 - Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 355°F (180°C). After 2 hours, place the babka into the oven and allow it to bake for about 50 minutes.

20 - When cooked, place it on a cooling rack and let it cool completely into the cake pan before attempting to unmold it.

21 - Enjoy!

Watch our video for more details!

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Disclaimer: baking/cooking times vary according to each appliance. Make sure to always control halfway through for success.

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🎬 Everything we used for this recipe:

🎥 Video gear

🍶 Kitchenware: Coming soon!

🍳 Ingredients: Coming soon!

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The information provided in this recipe is not nutritional or medical advice. Please read our disclaimer.

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