Choco­late Babka Loaf

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Cookery - PHO­TOS: SEAN CALTIZ. FOOD STYLING: JULES MERCER. PROP STYLING: SUE ROW­LANDS. AS­SIS­TANT: JESS RAN­SOM. MAR­BLE-PRINT HAN­DLED KNIFE FROM VINERS.CO.UK

This takes some time and ef­fort, but is well worth ev­ery sec­ond (and calo­rie). Feel free to flavour your babka with what­ever you like... white choco­late, spices etc.

SERVES 12

120ml (4fl oz) milk

1 x 7g sa­chet fas­tact­ing yeast

300g (10oz) strong bread flour

1tsp salt

40g (1½oz) caster sugar 1 large egg

1tsp vanilla paste

70g (2½oz) but­ter, cut into 3cm cubes

500g loaf tin

For The Fill­ing

120g (4oz) but­ter

80g (2¾oz) dark mus­co­v­ado sugar

100g (3½oz) dark choco­late, melted

100g (3½ oz) pe­can nuts, roughly chopped

For The Glaze

50g (1½ oz) sugar 50ml (1½fl oz) wa­ter

1 Heat the milk in a saucepan un­til warm – do not boil or sim­mer. re­move from the heat, pour into a jug and al­low to cool slightly. Sprin­kle over the yeast and leave for 5-10 mins un­til foamy.

2 in a mixer bowl, mix the flour, salt and sugar. in a small bowl, beat the egg and vanilla to­gether. Add the milk mix­ture and egg mix­ture to the dry in­gre­di­ents, mix­ing us­ing a dough hook, and knead on a low speed un­til a smooth, elas­tic dough has formed. Beat in the cubes of but­ter, a cou­ple at a time, un­til the dough is smooth and slightly sticky. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and leave at room tem­per­a­ture to prove for 5 hrs, or overnight, un­til dou­bled in size.

3 To make the fill­ing, beat to­gether all the in­gre­di­ents ex­cept the pe­cans. roll out the proved dough to form a 45 x 25cm rec­tan­gle. Spread over the fill­ing, leav­ing a few cm around the bor­der. Sprin­kle over the nuts. From the long side of the rec­tan­gle, roll up the dough. Pinch to­gether the edges to seal.

4 Cut down the length of the mid­dle of the cylin­der of dough, leav­ing about 5cm in­tact at one end. From this end, plait the two strands around each other, keep­ing the ex­posed fill­ing fac­ing up. ease into the loaf tin (it may be a snug fit), cover lightly with cling­film and leave to rise for an­other 1½-2 hrs.

5 Pre­heat oven to 170°C or Gas Mark 3½, then bake for 45-50 mins un­til cooked through – the dough should sound hol­low when tapped. (Check the babka af­ter 25 mins and cover with foil if the choco­late is get­ting too dark.).

6 To make the glaze, heat the sugar and wa­ter in a pan un­til the sugar has dis­solved. Sim­mer for 5 mins and re­move from the heat. As soon as the babka is out of the oven, brush over the glaze. When cool, slice to serve.

Per Serv­ing:

485 calo­ries, 14g fat (4g sat­u­rated),

42g car­bo­hy­drates

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