The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Beer and chocolate.

April 25, 2011 , , ,

I’ve had a serious itch to get some baking done. It’s been weeks. Literally. So, on Friday night I was pretty excited to get home and pick something out. Yes, this is what I was excited about on Friday night.

After having food52 poop out on me I decided to go back to Martha. I pretty much think Easter is the best holiday ever and who better to tell you how to celebrate it correctly than Martha Stewart? After flipping through her Easter treats sideshow and getting grossly upset by looking at cakes such as this

And

I finally settled on the Chocolate Babka. Maybe one day my skills will reach Coconut Almond Egg Shape cake status but for right now it’s babka and that’s what I’ll work with.

I didn’t get this done until yesterday. I made the amateur mistake of starting before brunch and not realizing that I didn’t have enough time until I was ready to pop this in the oven.

Shaped before brunch

Note – this takes at least 3 hours to make. You would think I would know by now to add up all the times before starting something but no. Hey #Marthastewart, why don’t you put the total cook time on there? That would be nice.

Another note – maybe don’t make this after brunch and you’ve been drinking ALL DAY. Just a thought. But for future references, I’m going to remember that maybe it’s not such a good idea to try to finish up something that is expensive and time consuming when you’re 15 sheets to the wind and have already proved untrustworthy by basically almost slicing off your finger while trying to cook something for dinner. I mean, just maybe.

Shaped after brunch. Unable to find loaf pan #2. Very sad looking.

I decided to halve this recipe. The last thing I need is three loaves of chocolate bread laying around. So needless to say, I screwed up this recipe early on by halving everything BUT the milk. After realizing my mistake, I worked to incorporate almost 2 more cups of flour. Despite this error, things still turned out all right. A few of the comments said that the filling was too much. I disagree. I could have used the full filling recipe for only half of the dough recipe. But I suppose that’s a note of personal preference. Like chocolate? Use the whole thing.

Anyways, here you go. Enjoy! It was fun for me. Even with a bleeding thumb and a kitchen cabinet that almost fell on me in the process.

Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cups warm milk, 110 degrees
• 2 (1/4 ounce each) packages active dry yeast
• 1 3/4 cups plus a pinch of sugar
• 3 whole large eggs, room temperature
• 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
• 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus more for bowl and loaf pans
• 2 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
• 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Struesel Topping
• 1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Struesel Directions
1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and butter. Using a fork, stir until fully combined with clumps ranging in size from crumbs to 1 inch.

Babka Directions
1. Pour warm milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over milk; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. In a bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and egg yolks. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture, and beat on low speed until almost all the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Change to the dough hook. Add 2 sticks butter, and beat until flour mixture and butter are completely incorporated, and a smooth, soft dough that’s slightly sticky when squeezed is formed, about 10 minutes.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth. Butter a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
5. Place chocolate, remaining cup sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in remaining 1 1/2 sticks butter until well combined; set filling aside.

6. Generously butter three 9-by-5-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pans; line them with parchment paper. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon cream; set egg wash aside. Punch back the dough, and transfer to a clean surface. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut into 3 equal pieces. Keep 2 pieces covered with plastic wrap while working with the remaining piece. On a generously floured surface, roll dough out into a 16-inch square; it should be 1/8 inch thick.
7. Brush edges with reserved egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of the reserved chocolate filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Refresh egg wash if needed. Roll dough up tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch ends together to seal. Twist 5 or 6 turns. Brush top of roll with egg wash.



8. Carefully crumble 2 tablespoons filling over the left half of the roll, being careful not to let mixture slide off. (This is easier than I thought it would be!) Fold right half of the roll over onto the left half. Fold ends under, and pinch to seal. Twist roll 2 turns, and fit into prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of dough and remaining filling.
9. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of streusel topping over each loaf. Loosely cover each pan with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place 20 to 30 minutes.
10. Bake loaves, rotating halfway through, until golden, about 55 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until babkas are deep golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from oven, and transfer to wire racks until cool. Remove from pans; serve. Babkas freeze well for up to 1 month.

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