I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too! Welcome!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Chocolate Cinnamon Babka

Buttery chocolate filled braided yeast loaf with a hint of cinnamon. Well actually one is twisted and one is braided, but I like the braided one better. I have lots of pictures since this is my very 1st attempt at babka so you can see the difference between the two.

3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps instant yeast
2 tsps salt (or 1 tsp if using salted butter)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsps butter, cold
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups warm milk (105-110°F)

8 oz (1 cup) roughly chopped semi-sweet chocolate
a scant 2/3 cup butter (1/3 cup for each loaf)
2 tsps cinnamon

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

Add flour, yeast, salt, sugar and cold butter to a food processor and pulse until the butter is incorporated but specks can still be seen. Place this into a large mixer bowl and add eggs one at a time using a dough hook. Add 3/4 cup of the warm milk and when dough starts to form a ball add more milk, a little at a time, until a soft dough forms. You may not need the full 1 1/2 cups milk or you may need to add a little more flour. Knead with dough hook for 10 minutes then form into a ball. Oil a large bowl and place the ball in the bowl, covering with plastic wrap. Sit the bowl in a warm place (I turn my oven on for 1 minute any temp then off before putting the bowl in, to create the warm place) and let rise for 2-4 hours or until doubled in size.
Punch down dough and divide into 2 balls. Roll each ball out on a floured board to about a 1/4" thick rectangle 9 X 14". Spread 1/3 cup butter on each, leaving a 1" border, and divided the chocolate on each also leaving a 1" border. Sprinkle 1 tsp cinnamon on each. 
Roll up from the long side, like cinnamon rolls, and pinch the seams. Place on a baking sheet in the fridge for 10 minutes.
I will try to roll the dough thinner next time I make a babka so there'll be even more layers. (And there will definitely be a next time!!)

Remove the rolls from the fridge. This is the twisted roll. It was cut down the middle and one side was brought over the other repeatedly to form the twist.

For this one I cut the roll in three and braided it. Then I curled it around to form a "U" before sitting it in the pan.

Line loaf tins with parchment making it easier to remove the babkas once baked. Lift dough and gently sit each babka in loaf pans tucking the ends in underneath. Cover again with plastic wrap for 30-60 minutes. 
And here they both are after a one hour rise.

Remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. They are done when a tap on them sounds hollow. A couple of minutes before the baking is done heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar melts. Then as soon as the babkas come out of the oven brush them with the syrup.
Cool on racks for 10 minutes.

I used the parchment overhangs to lift the bread out of the pans then used my big spatula to lift the loaves from the parchment to the cooling racks. Cool completely befor slicing.

Here's a slice of the twisted babka. (Remember to wipe your knife clean after each slice.)

And here is the beauty of the braided babka slice!
Makes 2 loaves
Adapted from: yellowthyme.com

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