Wednesday, June 9, 2010

chocolate cinnamon babka

I am a total weakling when it comes to kneading. So when I received my KitchenAid in all it's glory and with a dough hook attachment I decided it was time to have a go at making some yeast baked goods. I've seen babka tackled on many blogs so it was first on my hit list. I figured inadequate brioche would be redeemed by swirls of chocolate and cinnamon. (This proved strangely prophetic because as it turns out I need a
lot more practice with yeast based baking! The babka did not rise as well as I'd hoped, nor was it as light as it should have been. Still very edible though, especially toasted.)

Chocolate Cinnamon Babka
(Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light)

Ingredients for dough

1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup warm 1% low-fat milk (105° to 110°)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
7.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 2/3 cups), divided
5.85 ounces bread flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and softened
Cooking spray

Ingredients for Filling

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Ingredients for streusel

2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, softened


Dissolve 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and yeast in warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and egg yolk. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour and bread flour to milk mixture; beat with dough hook attachment at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add 5 tablespoons butter, beating until well blended. Scrape dough out onto a floured surface (dough will be very sticky). Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add 1.5 ounces (about 1/3 cup) all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will be very soft).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let dough rest 5 minutes.

Line the bottom of a 9 x 5?inch loaf pan with parchment paper; coat sides of pan with cooking spray.

To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside.

Place dough on a generously floured surface; roll dough out into a 16-inch square.

Sprinkle filling over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edges. Roll up dough tightly, jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam and ends to seal. Holding dough by ends, twist dough 4 times as if wringing out a towel. Fit dough into prepared pan.
Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size*.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

To prepare streusel, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, and 1 tablespoon softened butter, stirring with a fork until mixture is crumbly; sprinkle streusel evenly over dough. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until loaf is browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool bread completely on wire rack before slicing.

* Oh my God. I just realised why my babka didn't rise as beautifully as I'd hoped. I DIDN'T LET IT RISE AFTER I ROLLED IT. It just went straight in the oven. Thank goodness for this blog and it's ability to help me engage in reflective practice about my baking.

1 comment:

  1. That looks incredibly good-I love those layers! And I was exactly the same with kneading. I'd give up after a few minutes but once I got the KA it was bread after bread! :P