Funny thing, time.
I was sitting around this past weekend, making my to-do, to-see, to-eat lists and I realized that when I set my move date over two weeks ago it seemed like I had so much of it, I’m counting down not months, but weeks, and pretty soon it’ll be days, and I realized that I don’t have that much time at all.
So, I packed my closet, scrapbooks and albums, too, and the memories with them, and stacked a few more boxes, I set off to tackle the one to-do that has been on that to-cook list for as long as I’ve had my blog.
A babka. An honest to goodness yeast, twist, rise double chocolate babka. It’s been like this holy grail of baked goods, and as I looked back on all the culinary accomplishments my tiny kitchen has seen, I realized I still had one more in me before my parchment and loaf pans were sealed and delivered.
Plus, a little note in the mail reminded me that it’s nearly Valentine’s Day and what better love letter is there than a little bit of chocolate? That’s what I thought.
Anyway, it’s babka go-time.
To help with the task and to provide some inspiration, I looked to my friends at Jord, maker of those gorgeous and unique wood watches that you’ve no doubt seen here and there on your blogroll. I’m not a snazzy jewelry girl, but through the years, my friends have always made note (or made fun) of my watches; ever present, always worthy of a look or comment. Mickey Mouse in high school, Harry Potter in college, and something a little shinier since then, my wrist wear has always been like me, classic, with character, and my new zebrawood & maple fell right in line, and gave me the perfect idea of how to give this classic chocolate babka a little character of its own.
Like the the twisted look of the two contrasting types of wood, I decided that my babka would twist two different types of chocolate: white and dark. It is, after all, so hard to choose between them and I realized that there was really no need to do so!
The end result…well, let’s just say that I wasn’t the only one that couldn’t keep my paws off of those oozy-gooey warm chocolatey loaves!
I’m not going to lie, this babka is a process, and takes some time (including an overnight) but let’s all roll up our sleeves and take this step by step.
The mixer does most of the early heavy lifting. Wet ingredients, dry ingredients, dough hook. You know how it goes. Divide the dough, shape into rectangles and stick it in the fridge to get good and ready.
After a good night’s sleep, it’s our turn.
Unwrap one of the rectangles on a lightly floured surface. I used parchment to keep it clean.
16” x 16” looks good, so time to spread some of the chocolate.
Give it a roll and repeat with the white chocolate.
Slice each roll lengthwise, and then twist them up, cut side out.
Arrange each twist into a loaf pan and let rise for two hours.
Bake to perfection, with a little brush of sugar at the end. Give it 30 minutes or so to set…
Unless you’re, like me, a little impatient!
Slice and enjoy with some strong coffee and some memories, and savor the taste of time well spent.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed
- 1 packet dry active yeast
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/3 cup water
- 6 TB sugar
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk with the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk and sprinkle the dry ingredients on top. Mix at low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix at medium speed until all of the dry ingredients well combined and the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, bit by bit and mix at low speed until it is fully incorporated and a tacky dough forms, about 3 minutes; scrape down the side of the bowl as needed during mixing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat the paper with butter. Scrape the dough out onto the parchment paper and cut the dough in half. Pat each piece into a neat square. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, make the filling. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the dark chocolate with 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat. Clean the saucepan and repeat with the white chocolate. Let cool to room temperature
- Prepare two 9-by-4-inch loaf pans with butter and line with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on each of the long sides. Roll out each square of dough to a 16" square. Using an offset spatula, spread all the dark chocolate filling on one square, and all the white chocolate filling in the other, in an even layer over the dough squares to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Starting at the long edge nearest you, tightly roll up each dough square jelly roll–style into a tight log.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the logs in half lengthwise. With one 1/2 log of dark chocolate and 1/2 log of white, twist the dough (as if you were braiding it) to form spirals and transfer to the prepared pans. Cover the loaves with a towel and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the loaves in the center of the oven for about 35-45 minutes, until puffed and well browned.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, add the sugar and water and cook until all the sugar is dissolved. Brush or spoon the glaze over the warm babkas and let set 15 minutes.
- Use the parchment paper to lift the babkas out of the pans and onto a rack set over a baking sheet. Discard the paper.
- Let set about 30 minutes. Slice and serve.
This post was in partnership with Jord wood watches. All opinions, tangents and ramblings are mine and mine alone. Check out their sweet collections for both men and women. Thanks for supporting those that support THB!