The response from my last post about depression has been really surprising and I am so thankful to everyone who commented, messaged me directly and even shared the post on Facebook. I am so pleased people have understood and even expressed they have learnt something new about mental health.
This recipe was inspired by an amazing friend who is going through her own incredible journey becoming stronger every day. We have always bonded over food, recipes and flavour combinations so it was an easy decision to follow her lead. The flavour combination: pistachio and cranberry. I decided to use those ingredients and try making a Babka! Babka is a Jewish sweet loaf, usually filled with chocolate. I swapped the chocolate for crushed pistachios, dried cranberries and honey and the outcome is really yummy.
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120mls Whole Milk
7g Dry Yeast (one sachet)
1 Whole Egg and 1 Yolk
½ tsp Salt
100g Unsalted Butter, soft, cut in cubes
Warm the milk slightly. I heated mine in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the dried yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile whisk the egg, yolk and sugar together in one bowl. In another, mix the flour and salt. Add the milk and yeast to the egg mixture, whisking. Once combined add this to the dry ingredients. When it starts coming together add in the butter and bring together until there are no lumps. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for a few minutes. It is quite a wet dough so keep this in mind. Put back in the bowl and leave in a warm area to prove for an hour.
100g Dried Cranberries
2 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
Chop up the pistachios so there is a good mixture of fine crumb and chunks. This is why I manually chopped them up instead of using a food processor as I still want some texture. Add the pistachios, cranberries and sugar in a bowl. Leave the honey for later.
Prepare a loaf tin by using an oil spray and line with greaseproof paper. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to roughly 22×12” with the longest side towards you. Drizzle the honey over the rectangle of dough and sprinkle over the pistachio and cranberry mix.
Tightly roll up the dough into a tight log. Trim the ends. Using a sharp knife cut the rolled up dough in half lengthwise. So that the filled layers are exposed. Place one of the strips on top of the other to form an X. Continue to twist the strips over one another and then fold the whole loaf in half and put into the prepared loaf tin and leave to prove for a further 30 minutes. Heat a fan assisted oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Cook the loaf for 40 minutes until golden on top.