Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chocolate Babka

Now that I have my fancy, schmancy new mixer I've been able to try recipes that really require a heavy duty stand mixer for success. A few months ago I encountered a recipe for chocolate babka, but a)its relatively time consuming and b) it needs a stand mixer (at least, in order to be made in any semblance of a realistic time-frame). So, I bookmarked it and figured I'd try it someday or when I was at my mom's house.

I finally decided to break out the recipe this past Thursday because I wanted to give my professors a holiday gift to thank them for the semester. The recipe makes three large loaves, but I decided to make two large and three small (in order to give the small ones away as gifts). Let me just begin with a small disclaimer: DO NOT read the recipe if you have a fear of butter, chocolate, butter + chocolate or calories. It could ruin babka for you forever. If you feel you can continue, then the recipe is listed below.

Chocolate Babka

1 1/2 cups warm milk, 110 degrees
2 (1/4 ounce each) packages active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups plus a pinch of sugar
3 whole large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
2 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Streusel topping (below)

- Pour warm milk into a small bowl and pour yeast and pinch of sugar over milk; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
-In a bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and egg yolks. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.
-Combine flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer (using the paddle attachment).
-Add the egg mixture and beat on low speed until almost all the flour is incorporated.
-Change to the dough hook and add two sticks of butter. Beat (with the dough hook) until the flour and butter mix is a smooth dough, about ten minutes.
-Put dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times. Butter a large bowl and put the dough in it, covered by plastic wrap. Set aside until doubled (about an hour).
-Put chopped chocolate, remaining cup of sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir. Use a pastry cutter to cut the remaining 1 1/2 sticks butter into the chocolate mix.
-Butter three large loaf pans (or two large, three small) and line with parchment paper.
-Beat remaining egg with cream and set aside.
-Punch back the dough and put on clean surface to rest for five minutes. Cut into 3 equal pieces, keeping two covered with plastic wrap while you work with one.
-On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 16-inch square (or so...) until its about 1/8 inch thick.
-brush the edges with egg wash and crumble 1/3 of the chocolate filling on the dough. Roll it up tightly and pinch the edges to seal.
-Twist 5 or 6 turns and brush the top of the roll with egg wash. Crumble some of the chocolate filling on top of the left half of the roll and fold the right half on top. pinch together the edges and twist two more times.
-Put it into the prepared pan and repeat with the remaining dough.
-Brush the loaves with the egg wash and crumble the streusel topping on top. Loosely cover each with plastic wrap and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
-Heat oven to 350 degree and bake for about 55 minutes, rotating halfway through. Lower temp to 325 degree and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Streusel topping

1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and use a fork to stir together.

**Note: I didn't use all of the chocolate filling because it was nearly impossible to fit it all in!

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I just read that recipe (after eating quite a bit of chocolate babka -- is there any other kind really? -- the other night)... but no you still can't ruin babka for me I'll eat it anyway!!! As long as it's homemade ;)