My swirly chocolate babka is just what I need for Easter. This Polish & South-Ukrainian bread, traditionally made with nuts and dried fruits, celebrates my ancestry and puts a smile on my face.
You can spot quite a few babka’s on IG these days, and no wonder why, it is delish and not that complicated to make.
I used Pierre Marcolini’s smoked chocolate chips, the premier Belgian chocolatier and advocate of the bean to bar craft.
TIPS & SWAPS:
Sprinkle chopped roasted nuts like hazelnuts or pistachios on top of the chocolate layer.
Omit the chocolate later and use nuts and dried fruits.
Brush with sugar syrup, agave syrup or honey for a beautiful shine.
Dust with dried flower petals like roses or candied fruit for colour.
Serve toasted with butter for breakfast or with afternoon tea.
You can proof the dough before you add the filling or after. You will get more of a rise if you proof before adding the filling and will give less tight structure to the bread.
My swirly chocolate babka
Yield 8 servings
For the babka:
- 375 gr strong bread flour
- 50 gr caster sugar
- 7 gr dried yeast
- 100 ml milk, lukewarm
- 1 egg, beaten
- 100 gr butter, cold diced
- pinch of salt
For the chocolate filling:
- 100 gr chocolate
- 40 gr butter
- 25 gr caster sugar
- To make the chocolate filling: melt in saucepan the butter, add the chocolate and sugar and let melt. Keep stirring as not to burn the chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In mixing bowl add the flour, salt and yeast. Mix to combine.
- Add the beaten egg to the milk, whisk with a fork to combine. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. Mix at slow speed for 2 - 3 minutes .
- Add the butter gradually to the mixture and increase to medium speed, mix for 6 minutes till combined in a ball.
- Remove the dough onto a flowered surface and roll into a ball. You can either place it in a bowl covered with a plastic bag and let proof for 2 hours now or you can do it later.
- If you have let it proof, first knock it back and then roll out the dough to a squarish form, about 1 cm thick. If you have not proofed it first, roll out the dough.
- Spread the cooled chocolate sauce over the rolled out dough, keeping 1-2 cm away from the edge. Roll from the longest edge up.
- Cut the dough roll lengthwise in half, leaving at the top 2 cm attached. Pull apart the strands and twist outward to reveal the inner layers. Carefully braid the 2 strands, connect the ends to make a wreath. (this is very messy).
- Place the wreath on a baking tray and if you ve not proofed it yet, let it rise for 2 hours and bake after. If you already ve, bake it in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 40- 45 minutes.
- Let cool before brushing with some honey or sugar syrup and serve.
on www.leeksandhighheels.com by Sandra Slawinski
Creates, written and photographed by Sandra Slawinski without commercial agreements. I used pieces from my own collection.