Yeast babka is more like a sweet bread than regular cake. Freshly baked brings wonderful smell in the whole house and the taste will spoil you. The dough is prepared brioche-like style and you need to be patient by taking enough time to make it. The pistachio filling is a nice addition to yummy dough and the whole loaf is definitely worth your effort. Bake and enjoy!
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and orange 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.)
With mixer on low speed, add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add salt, beating just until combined, about 3 minutes. Increase 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 at a time.)
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75°) for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until doubled in size. 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.
Make pistachio paste: line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water until a candy thermometer registers 240°. 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.
In the work bowl of a food processor, combine pistachios and almond flour. Process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With motor running, add oil, one tablespoon at a time. Process until mixture forms a smooth, thick paste, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Pistachio filling: 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.
Grease and line a baking pan. On a heavily floured surface, roll dough to a 12-inch square. Brush edges with egg beaten with water. Spread with pistachio filling, leaving a 1-inch border on long sides of dough. Starting at one 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. Cover, and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake loaf for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
The recipe comes from the 'Bake from scratch' magazine.