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Walnut parsley and sundried tomato babka

Eating in the great outdoors is being reinvented with the help of Marina Filippelli’s picnic survival guide, Foolproof Picnic. The golden rule? It’s as simple, or as demanding, as you make it. 

Walnut, parsley and sundried tomato babka  

Makes 1 loaf

Babka is a sweet braided bread but with this recipe, it’s been given a more savoury spin. If you’ve never made it before, find a video tutorial online for confidence. Or, shape it into rolls.  


For the dough

350g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting 
7g (2¼ tsp) instant yeast 
220ml tepid water 
2 tsp runny honey 
1 tsp salt, plus extra to scatter on top 
Olive oil, for greasing and brushing  

For the filling 

40g walnuts, finely chopped
15g fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped 
40g sundried tomatoes, chopped into small pieces 
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
½ tsp fennel seeds 
3 Tbsp olive oil 


  1. Line a 1.2 litre, about 20cm x 10cm, loaf tin (pan) with baking paper. 
  2. Combine flour, yeast, water and honey in a large bowl. 
  3. Work mixture together with a spatula or your hands to form a so dough with no pockets of flour. Cover with a large plate or dish towel and set aside for 30 minutes. 
  4. Sprinkle in salt and use your hands to work it into dough. 
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 1½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the filling and set aside. 
  7. Gently tip dough onto a work surface. Roll it out into a rectangle that’s about 20cm x 30cm in size. 
  8. Spread filling over the surface of dough. Starting with a long edge, tightly roll the rectangle to make a long log and lay it seam-side-down on the work surface. 
  9. Using a large sharp knife, cut the dough lengthways down the centre, leaving the halves attached at one end by about 3cm. 
  10. Lift the length over the right length, then continue to twist the 2 lengths around each other until they are intertwined all the way to the bottom, into a two-pronged plait (braid), showing the filling on top. 
  11. Pinch the ends together to seal. Try not to pull at the lengths as you twist them, to prevent lengthening them too much. Gently li the babka into the lined loaf tin and cover with a clean dish towel. Leave to prove for 1 hour. 
  12. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan). 
  13. Brush the loaves with olive oil, scatter with a little salt and bake for 35–40 minutes until golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack, then wrap in baking paper 6and secure it with string.


Recipe: Marina Filippelli (Foolproof Picnic)

Photography: Supplied

Also read: 6 tips to pack your picnic basket like a pro

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