Babka is one our favorite sweet bread . My husband’s favorite actually ..although we both didn’t grew up eating this kind of sweet bread . But one year I was intrigued with this Babka , Chocolate Babka to be exact , after watching an episode of Seinfeld .
My go to Babka recipe is from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Bread Everyday . I have never tried any other recipe . I made them plenty of times over the years and it’s always been my husband’s favorite sweet treat.
Lately with the quarantine , social distancing thing , I find myself to be busy daily in the kitchen . Experimenting some new recipes , trying out new skills , or sharpening certain thing ..
One of the thing I was trying to master better is sourdough business . I’ve created my sourdough 6 years ago and I’ve been able to bake with it many times but it’s hit and miss . I have no issue with hybrid ( sourdough and yeast in a recipe ) . But the pure sourdough was a bit of a hit and miss until I learned more from Ken Fork book .
Anyway .. after reviving my sourdough chips , I decided to try sourdough babka . It is a rich sweet bread with cinnamon sugar or chocolate filling. I was basically really looking for things to do with it because it was getting really happy and active in such a short amount of time . It was tripling in size in less than 4 hours !
Recipe I actually found from The Perfect Loaf . I was so excited to try it . So that morning I fed it , made sure it’s very happy and made the levain .
Took pretty much the whole two days to make this , that’s pretty much a given for anything with sourdough unless you use a bit if commercial yeast . Which in this case I did not.
So when the levain ready I used it into the dough . I just didn’t expect the batter would be wet , it was very wet that I had no choice but to add just a bit more flour . During the first two hours bulk fermentation it rose just a little bit . I had to bring it upstairs , warmest spot in the house . 73 F up there n it rose just a bit . And I put it in the fridge for overnight fermentation .
It didn’t rise at all as far as I could tell . But I went ahead n shaped it anyway , thinking it’s not gonna turn . Yet I didn’t want to waste it . I rolled it out and then I used brown sugar n cinnamon mixed , added little cardamom because I ran out of cinnamon ( and so I thought . I found new container behind everything else the next day ) . Rolled it into cylinder , froze for 15 minutes , cut in half lengthwise . Twisted it . It’s pretty .. I just wished that I had dark brown sugar instead of light . You’ll see what I meant by it later on ..
After shaping it , I let it proof for several hours . It took about 5 hours to proof . I’d imagine in the summer they’ll proof much faster . At 73 F they’re proofing slow ..
It didn’t seem like they proofed much but I just baked it anyway . It rose really good in the oven . It was so pretty , as I sat waiting it to totally cool down , I realized why dark brown sugar was preferred in this recipe . It looks pretty ..with the sticky gooey caramel all over
After about 90 minutes I decided it’s time to cut it . I was happy with how it turned out and the wonderful flavor from this Babka . My husband actually prefers this recipe than the other one . He doesn’t mind waiting for 2 days I suppose 🤣🤣