December 23, 2010

Chocolate Babka

This recipe caught my eye immediately, but I waited until now to prepare it for Christmas morning breakfast. My favorite part of the bread now is how you can't tell from the outside that the loaf is swirled with delicious chocolate. (I'm pretty sure my favorite part after I taste it will be the chocolaty richness of the bread.)

P.S. This bread is amazing and looks so intriguing on the inside!

Chocolate Babka
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
3/4 cup warm milk
6 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups bread flour
5 Tbsp. butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. butter, softened

Dissolve 1 tsp. sugar and yeast in warm milk for five minutes. Combine remaining sugar, vanilla, salt, egg yolk and yeast mixture in mixing bowl. Add 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour and all of the bread flour, beating with the dough hook until well blended. Add butter, beating until well blended.

Knead dough until smooth and elastic, adding remaining flour gradually as needed to prevent dough from sticking. Cover dough, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough, and let rest 5 minutes. Line the bottom of a 9 x 5 pan with parchment paper, and spray the sides with non-stick spray. Combine filling ingredients together.

Place dough on generously floured surface. Roll dough into a 16-inch square. Sprinkle filling on dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border on all sides. Roll up jelly-roll style, pinching seam and ends to seal. Holding dough by ends, twist dough four times as if wringing out a towel. Fit dough into prepared pan, twisting dough to fit into pan. Cover, and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare streusel by combining those ingredients together to form coarse crumbs. Sprinkle streusel evenly over dough. Bake for 40 minutes or until loaf is browned and sounds hollow. Cool in pan 10 minutes, and then cool completely on wire rack. Yield: 16 servings.

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