Category Archives: Experiment

Chocolate and Walnut Babka – a Sourdough Polish Easter Bread

Eventually, I knew, I would have to bake a Babka. Simple enough: an enriched dough, then a buttery layer on top, then roll it up … and then it gets difficult. The dough is sliced longways and platted, like a brioche crown, then placed into a loaf tin to rise and bake. So the dough has to fill out enough to form the loaf shape, with a consistent swirl of filling with each slice.

I tried a loaf with my Taster, Bailey, who couldn’t fault it, so I made two loaves for the Great Dixter Spring Plant Fair Cake Stall.

Two Chocolate and Walnut Babkas, glazed with Sri Lankan coconut treacle

And two very charming women were kind enough to let me photograph the proof that they were edible!

Two charming ladies at the Great Dixter Plant Fair

Courgette and Gruyere Loaf – an exploration of a happy accident

You know what it’s like when you have a large bowl of grated courgette and wonder what to do with it? So I thought I would make a couple of sourdough loaves with the green and yellow vegetable, with added interest from some left over cheese, a dash of egg yolk and some chopped nuts.

A pair of courgette loaf experiments

A pair of courgette loaf experiments


Oh, but they were good. So I decided to do it again – more carefully. Equal measures of green courgette, yellow courgette, gruyere and walnuts, with the dough slightly enriched with milk. The courgettes provide so much liquid that you need add very little more.


The finished article: Courgette, Gruyere and Walnut Sourdough Loaf

A real hit! Great smell, great flavour and an interesting appearance.