These Pesto Babka Buns are seriously very addictive. They are beautifully braided and you will get the pesto filling in each bite.
Who wouldn’t love a piece of some delicious fresh bread? Especially the ones with a beautiful appearance like these Pesto Babka Buns.
Babka usually uses sweet fillings, but today we are switching it up a bit. Normally you have got lots of layers of soft bread loaded with rich chocolate or cinnamon filling for babka. But this time, I used delicious green pesto sauce for the filling, turning classic babka to the savory side.
Babka is a sweet braided bread or cake of Jewish origin. To start, it is a dense bread that is swirled with fillings, usually with chocolate spread or cinnamon sugar. Babka, which means “little grandmother” in Eastern European word, was made by grandmothers on Shabbat during the old days. They would twist leftover scraps of challah with seeds and nuts, forming something delicious but far less sweet than the babkas we see today.
It was not until Eastern European Jews arrived in New York that the chocolate version was added to the mix. After the filling was spread onto a layer of dough, which was tightly rolled and folded, and baked into the rich loaves we know and love today.
About Pesto Babka Buns
As explained in my explanation above, most babkas are sweet. But I wanted to try something savory to use up some leftover pesto I had in my fridge. I made this savory babka with my Basil Walnut Pesto. The recipe is definitely a great way to finish up that delicious green sauce.
Instead of baking it in a big loaf pan, I divided the dough into smaller portions into buns. Babka buns are already served per serving, so there is no need for extra cutting. In addition, making babka into buns definitely cut the baking time into half.
I must say they turned out really delicious and very versatile. They are perfect for weekend brunches and gatherings. I especially love them for breakfast and as a dip for my soup. This savory babka recipe is worth every minute it takes to make it.
After finishing this batch of babka buns, I started making my second batch with Nutella spread and hazelnuts. You can find the recipe at Nutella Babka Buns.
How to Make Pesto Babka Buns
Look at those layers inside, they are beautiful and seem super complicated. I assumed it was super hard and way too time-consuming. As it turns out it is not that hard to make, and most of the time is spent just letting it rest. The way this recipe works is by rolling your dough super thin so that the filling is distributed to all layers. The dough will rise during resting and baking, creating a nice soft and fluffy bread as the result.
Although the shaping looks tricky, it is not really any harder than making cinnamon rolls. I have a step-by-step video for helping you how to make these Pesto Babka Buns. You will be pleasantly surprised that babka is totally something you all can pull off. Just one reminder to strain the extra oil in pesto before using it. Oily pesto will make the shaping process harder because the oil will make the dough less sticky.
Roll out the dough to a long rectangle, spread the pesto, and roll it up tightly from a long end. Make sure to seal all the seams once it is rolled up to prevent the pesto from leaking. Then, split the log in half lengthwise and simply twist the two strands together. Stretch the dough and bring the ends together, overlapping them and creating a hold in the middle. Bring one end into the hole and pinch it together with the other end at the bottom.
More Pesto Recipes
Looking for pesto recipes, these delicious dishes will be perfect for you.