Chocolate Babka Experiment

Thought I’d try something really new.  I found this recipe from www.leahcookskosher.com and absolutely LOVE it to pieces!

So these are the ingredients for the crumb topping: butter, flour, and sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

This is what it looked like after beating with a hand mixer for a few minutes.  Love the fact that I can store the extra topping in the refrigerator or freezer until I need it again for another bread.

 

 

 

 

Dough has been dumped out onto a floured surface and is now ready to be kneaded for a few minutes.  I’ve found that I enjoy kneading the bread by hand instead of just kneading inside the KitchenAid with the dough hook.  It makes me feel all domesticated and artistic at the same time.  If I close my eyes while kneading (and of course blocking out the sounds of my children screaming in the background over some toy) I can almost imagine myself working in a fancy bakery in Chicago or New York.  The sounds of screaming children become the sounds of customers clamoring to enjoy the one-of-a-kind baked good that only I am able to create for them to enjoy.  Hahaha!  Yeah right!

 

Okay, so fantasy time is over and the dough is nice and elastic after being kneaded for about 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Spray a bowl with non-stick spray and place dough smooth side down first before flipping and coating the bottom as well. Cover and let rise about an hour or until double in bulk.  (Perfect time to switch out the laundry, scrub a toilet or two, or stop your oldest child from locking his little brother inside the closet.  So many fun options to choose from at this point!)

 

 

 

As the dough gets close to being ready to work with again, prepare a hot water bath with your filling ingredients: chocolate chips, sugar, cocoa, butter and vanilla.  You don’t want to burn your chocolate mixture, so take it easy with the heat and let all the ingredients slowly melt on their own.

 

 

 

Dough is now ready to be rolled out.  You’ll know it’s done rising when you poke two fingers into the dough and it slowly springs back.  Punch it down (and be grateful you get to vent some pent-up frustration on your artistic endeavor).

 

 

 

 

One of my non-screaming children at the moment assisting me with preparing my pans and egg wash.  He’s such a cute little assistant!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate filling is now melted and mixed together but still staying warm over the hot water bath.  You’ll have to give it a stir now and then to keep it from getting too stiff.

 

 

 

 

 

Roll out the dough into a rectangle.  The thing I absolutely love about this dough recipe is that it really doesn’t stick to anything after it has risen.  You don’t want to use flour on the countertop because the dough will slide around while you are trying to roll it out.  You can even pull and stretch the dough by hand if you wanted.  It’s like the grown-up version of Play-Dough.  Love it!!

 

 

Spread your yummy filling all over trying to get it as even as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Roll up (going away from your body) and then cut in half.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twist the two strands together the whole time telling yourself, “Wow!  This looks so FANCY…I made this! I made this!”

 

 

 

 

 

Place each loaf in a prepared bread pan.  Brush with the egg wash using a pastry brush (I splurged and got a silicon one since it cleans up easier than the bristle ones).  Cover with your crumb topping and then bake.

 

 

 

 

The end result of all your hard work.  Your children will then forgive you for ignoring their temper tantrums and fights once they smell and taste this AMAZING bread.  My first thought upon tasting it was, “Oh wow, that tastes like a professional pastry!”  It took me a while to overcome my shock that I had actually baked that in my own oven.

 

 

 

This turned out to be a great way to learn fancy pastry making without getting too complicated.  This wonderful dough recipe can be used to make an assortment of pastry breads including cinnamon rolls. I’m still getting over my shock at how easy it is to make these amazing breads without all the headache.  Hope you have fun with your own kitchen experiments.

Crumb Topping – by Leah Cooks Kosher

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/8 C. flour
  • ½ C. sugar
  • ½ C. margarine (or butter)

DIRECTIONS: Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Using a hand held mixer, blend the ingredients to form a fine crumb. Set aside until ready to use. Freeze or refrigerate any leftovers for future use.

Yeasted Sweet Dough – by Leah Cooks Kosher

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ C. warm water
  • 4 ½ tsp. yeast
  • ½ C. lukewarm milk
  • ½ C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ C. margarine, room temperature
  • 4 ½ – 5 C. all-purpose flour

 DIRECTIONS:  Dissolve the yeast in the water. Let it rest and bubble for about 10 minutes. Add the milk, sugar, salt, eggs, margarine and half the flour. Mix by hand with a wooden spoon or beat with a hand mixer. Add the remaining flour, a little at a time, to form a soft dough. It shouldn’t be sticky but it shouldn’t be too stiff. Knead the dough with a dough hook or by hand until very smooth, about 10 minutes. The dough will stretch without tearing when needed enough. Grease a bowl, add the dough upside down, and turn to have oiled side up. Cover with a tea towel until double in bulk. Shape into desired shape. One dough recipe makes two loaves of babka.

Chocolate Babka – by Leah Cooks Kosher

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 recipe sweet dough
  • 12 oz. dark chocolate
  • ¼ C. sugar (1/2 C. if you like a sweeter chocolate filling)
  • ½ C. dark European process cocoa
  • 1/3 C. unsalted margarine (or butter)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS: Make yeasted sweet dough as directed. Put the filling ingredients into a glass or metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir to melt but don’t overheat. When the chips look soft, stir to blend into a smooth filling. Turn the heat off but keep the filling over the heat while you roll the dough. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a long strip, about 8” wide and 20” long. Slather the filling over both strips into a smooth layer. Roll up the strands to form 2 long, thin rolls. Overlap the strands and keep lifting and crossing to form a twist. Cut the twist in half. Spray 2 – 8 1/2 “ loaf pans. Lift the loaves into the pans. Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with Crumb Topping. Bake @ 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. (This is tricky. The loaves should be very golden and looked baked.) Wearing oven mitts, turn a loaf out into your hand. The bottom should look set and the loaf will sound hollow when patted. Cool completely before slicing.

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One thought on “Chocolate Babka Experiment

  1. Pingback: Mom’s Homemade Cinnamon Rolls « Are We There Yet?

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