Since my last post, I visited Haiti where I helped build homes for those who lost them in the earthquake nearly 2 years ago. I kind of suspected that I’d come back with no good baking recipes to share, and I was right. We had no desserts, and overall the food left a bit to be desired. This surprised me a little bit since I really love Dominican food; the similarities ended at rice and beans. Several times we were fed fish spaghetti, which is basically plain spaghetti noodles with fish juice. Seeing as I don’t like fish, this was especially delicious.
So, I have no special Haitian recipes to share with you.
After Thanksgiving, though, I did have some time to bake and decided to try a Chocolate Babka bread that was recently featured in “Cooking Light.” Apparently babka can mean different things to different people and cultures, but from what I can figure out the type of babka that this recipe creates is a variation on an Eastern European Jewish tradition. It’s a yeasty bread that has chocolate swirls, so you kind of aren’t sure if it’s a bread for dinner or dessert. Perfect for a snack though!
source: “Cooking Light”
1 c warm milk (100-110 degrees)
1/2 c sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 c butter, melted
2 t vanilla
1 t salt
3 large eggs
23/6 oz all purpose flour (about 5 1/4 c)
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg white
2 t milk
1/4 c butter, divided
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Combine first three dough ingredients in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface. Once foamy, add butter, vanilla, salt and eggs. Stir.
- Gradually add 22.5 oz flour (about 5 cups) to egg mixture, stirring until combined.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead for 4 minutes, adding remaining 1/4 c of flour if necessary to prevent dough from sticking.
- Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Combine 1/2 c sugar and cocoa in a small bowl, stirring well.
- In another bowl, combine egg white and 2 t milk.
- Once dough has risen, divide into two equal portions. (Cover 2nd portion to prevent drying.) Roll dough into a 12×9″ rectangle. Melt 1/4 c butter and brush over dough. Sprinkle evenly with half of the cocoa mixture, leaving 1/4″ border. Sprinkle with 2 oz of the chopped chocolate. Drizzle with an additional tablespoon of butter.
- Brush far edge of dough with milk mixture and loosely roll up, starting with a long edge. Pinch seam to seal and turn over to make sure the seam is on the bottom and will not be visible.
- Repeat with 2nd loaf.
- Place both loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover, and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 325. Brush loaves with remaining milk mixture. Optionally, sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until browned. Cool completely on wire racks.
Serves: 12 pieces per loaf