Pistachio Babka

Pistachio Babka

Use our classic Babka recipe and add our pistachio filling to bring some color and crunch to our favorite twisted and braided bread. Check out our new Babka Back Page column in our March/April 2018 Issue and find recipes for a cinnamon and chocolate filling with our Babka Like a Boss feature. Plus, this video shows you how to twist up your dough

3.0 from 1 reviews
Babka Dough
Makes 2 (9x5-inch) loaves Use this basic babka recipe and add your filling of choice (recipes below)
  • Dough:
  • 6⅓ cups (792 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup warm whole milk (105°F to 110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • Egg Wash:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Simple Syrup:
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  1. For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and zest. With mixer on low speed, add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat until mixture comes together, 2 to 3 minutes. (If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.)
  2. With mixer on medium speed, add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next. Add salt, beating just until combined, about 3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon [8 grams] at a time.)
  3. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2½ hours. After dough has risen, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Alternatively, the dough can be made one day in advance and the entire rise may take place in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. For egg wash: In a small bowl, lightly beat together egg and water.
  5. Spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray, and line with parchment paper.
  6. Divide dough in half. On a heavily floured surface, roll half of dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Spread with half of desired filling, leaving a 1-inch border on long sides of dough. Starting at one short side, roll up dough, jelly-roll style, and press edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise. Carefully twist dough pieces around each other, and place in prepared pan, cut sides up. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough. Place prepared pans on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake until a thermometer in center registers 190°F, about 35 minutes more.
  8. For simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Pour simple syrup over warm loaves while still in pans. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
3.0 from 1 reviews
Pistachio Filling
Makes enough for 2 loaves
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (47 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (24 grams) almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup Pistachio Paste (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup (57 grams) finely chopped pistachios
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together flours and salt. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. Add Pistachio Paste and finely chopped pistachios. Beat until just combined.

3.0 from 1 reviews
Pistachio Paste
Makes about 1 cup
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup (142 grams) toasted pistachios
  • ¼ cup (24 grams) almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) vegetable oil
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, heat sugar and ¼ cup water until a candy thermometer registers 240°F. In a small bowl, place pistachios. Pour hot syrup over pistachios, stirring to coat. Transfer pistachios to prepared pan, and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine pistachios and almond fl our.
  3. Process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With processor running, add oil, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time. Process until mixture forms a smooth, thick paste, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Shape paste into a log, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Pistachio paste will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
Pistachio paste may be purchased at specialty food shops, but it’s just as easy to make your own.
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  1. When you say alternately, the entire rise may take place in the fridge overnight… should I skip the initial 1.5hour rise and just put right in the fridge after mixing?

    • Hi Vanessa,
      Thanks for reaching out! Yes, if you would like to make the dough one day ahead, you can skip the initial 1.5 hour rise and put it in the fridge after spraying a large bowl with cooking spray, Placing dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Let us know if you have any more questions!

  2. I just finished rolling, filling and shaping these. The filling was oozing out everywhere and made a big mess.
    I used store bought pistachio paste. I hope they turn out ok. The filling looked to be too much after I made it. Was this the case in your test kitchen??

    • Hi Kelli! Thanks for reaching out to us with your recipe question. We’re checking in with our test kitchen and will get back to you shortly once we have an answer!


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