Fudgy chocolate babka

  • I was just searching google for some interesting unusual things to bake, I don’t like the norm when it comes to baking  as you’ll find out on my blog. Anyway, I stumbled accross babka did a little Google history on what it’s all about and thought I’d give it a go. Bread and chocolate is just a winner! This was my second time making bread and honestly if you have never made bread before give it a go it’s so so so easy honestly. I don’t even have a mixer and did it all by hand. it turned out amazingly well. I didn’t have enough butter so used coconut oil in replacement which I was convinced it wouldn’t work but went ahead anyway. and I think it added to the fudgy, squidgyness of it. This is the best chocolate bread ever. In the world. The recipe below makes two loaves, I baked both and put one in the freezer but if I’m honest we ate the first one straight from the oven and I’m glad we made two. This chocolate bread won’t last 5 minutes. It’s that good. I’m going to make a coconut and cheesecake babka next week and I’ll make sure to blog it for all you babka lovers. In the meantime enjoy this little beauty of a recipe.

Dough
4 1/4 cups (530 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
7 grams  instant yeast
3 large eggs
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
130 grams butter at room temperature, 20 grams of coconut oil at room temperature.
Sunflower or other neutral oil, for greasing

Filling
4 1/2 ounces (130 grams) dark chocolate
1/2 cup (120 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine
Scant 1/2 cup (50 grams) powdered sugar
1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon [optional]

Syrup
1/3 cup water
6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar

  • Make the dough: Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and  in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl as I did. Add eggs and 1/2 cup water, mixing with the dough hook until it comes together or large wooden spoon and then use your hands to bring it together if doing by hand. this may take a couple minutes. It’s okay if it’s on the dry side, but if it doesn’t come together at all, add extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a mass. With the mixer on low, add the salt, then the butter, a spoonful at a time, mixing until it’s incorporated into the dough. Then, mix on medium speed for 10 minutes until dough is completely smooth; scrape side of bowl a few times and mix until completily smooth. If doing by hand work the butter in a bit at a time and need until completely smooth this didn’t take me much longer than it would with a mixer. need into a ball making sure it’s lovely and smooth.
  • Coat a large bowl with oil and pop the dough into the bowl, cover with the layers of clingfilm and refrigerate over night.
  • Make filling: Melt butter and chocolate together until smooth and then add powdered sugar and cinnamon
  • Assemble loaves: Coat two 9-by-4-inch (2 1/4 or 1kg) loaf pans with oil or butter, and line the bottom of each with a rectangle of parchment paper. Take half of dough from fridge (leave the other half chilled). Roll out on a well-floured counter to about a 15 inch width (the side closest to you) and as long in length (away from you) as you can when rolling it thin, likely 15 to 16inches. The more swirls you want in the your loaf the thinner you’ll need to roll it. I didn’t get as many chocolate swirls as I’d liked this was because I only rolled to 10inch. The more swirls the better.
  • Spread half of chocolate mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Brush the end farthest away from you with water. Roll the dough up with the filling into a long, tight cigar. Seal the dampened end onto the log. transferring the log to a  baking tray lined with baking parchment  in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes made it much, much easier to cut cleanly in half. Repeat with second dough.
  • Trim last 1/2-inch off each end of log. Gently cut the log in half lenghtwise and lay them next to each other on the counter, cut sides up. Pinch the top ends gently together. Lift one side over the next, forming a twist and trying to keep the cut sides facing out. Don’t worry if this step makes a mess, just transfer the twist as best as you can into the prepared loaf pan. In one batch, mine was long enough to “S” inside the pan and I nested the trimmed ends of the log in the openings. Even if you don’t (and choose to bake them separately in a little pan, as I did in other batches), the dough will fill in any gaps by the time it’s done rising and baking, so don’t worry.
  • Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise another 1 to 1 1/2 hours at room temperature. Repeat process with second loaf.
  • Bake and finish cakesL Heat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove towels, place each loaf on the middle rack of your oven. Bake for 30 minutes, but there’s no harm in checking at 25 mins. A skewer inserted into an underbaked babka will feel stretchy/rubbery inside and may come back with dough on it. When fully baked, you’ll feel almost no resistance. If you babka needs more time, put it back, 5 minutes at a time then re-test. If it browns too quickly, you can cover it with foil.
  • While babkas are baking, make syrup: Bring sugar and water to a simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside to cool somewhat. As soon as the babkas leave the oven, brush the syrup all over each. It will seem like too much, but will taste just right — glossy and moist. Let cool about halfway in pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way before eating (an adorable suggestion from Ottolenghi — don’t worry, we know you’re going to eat it warm).

Make a head: Babkas keep for a few days at room temperature. Longer, I’d freeze them. They freeze and defrost really well.

Some notes

you ou can add orange zest to your dough

 

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