Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You don't know Babka...! (BBD#53)

There are so many on-line forums for cooks and bakers. I can't say I have explored many of them, but through the Daring Kitchen, I do learn about some. On of them is Bread Baking Day. As one who loves to both bake and eat bread, this is one that I kind of drool over from time to time. I even tried to participate a while back. There was a chocolate bread theme, and I made chocolate-chocolate chip challah. Yummy, and perfect for the event. But I never blogged it. So I didn't really follow through. But this month is different. Aunty Twin over at CMomCook is the host this month, and I really do like to support her. That and she chose a really yummy theme - swirly breads!
I decided to make a classic swirly bread for our family - chocolate babka.  Babka is a yeasted dough rolled and swirled with yumminess.  This is something I have made before, but this time I had the best helper - Little Miss and her three year old baking expertise!
I started the dough during rest time, and it comes together pretty much like any other dough, so no really fun pictures of that.  (I did use my usual substitutions - soy milk and margarine.)
Little Girl was super excited to punch down the dough:
And then she wanted to roll it into a square:
 I also let her measure and mix the chocolate cinnamon sugar filling (I did the chopping while she slept, though):
 Then the filling was spread onto the dough with expert hands:
 I handled the rolling part:
 And the twisting for swirly effect:
 She did take over with the camera when I put the loaf into the pan to proof:
 Baked and ready to show off it's inner beauty:
 Chocolaty swirls!!
 I love how the swirls look different depending on where you cut into the loaf:

Thanks, Aunty Twin, for the fun Day of Bread Baking!  I hope everyone else enjoyed their swirly breads as much as we did!

Chocolate Babka
adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup warm vanilla soy 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)
  • (I used all AP flour, as that is what I had in the house)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted margarine, cut into pieces and softened
  • Cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 c. white, 1/4 c. brown sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Streusel:
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon margarine, softened
  • Preparation:

    1.  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 margarine, 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).
    2. 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.
    3. Line the bottom of a 9 x 5–inch loaf pan with parchment paper; coat sides of pan with cooking spray.
    4. To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside.
    5. 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.
    6. Preheat oven to 350°.
    7. To prepare streusel, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, and 1 tablespoon softened margarine, 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.


    1. Beautiful as usual, You make great bread Ruth.

    2. Beautiful pictures... but the first one with those little hands just got me. It's so much fun pressing on that raised dough! They always ask me to let them do it! That babka looks delicious by the way!