Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Didja ever have one of those recipes that you look at and think, "oh, I should make this... but now is not the time, I don't really have the time to make this," and then you keep thinking that for months? The recipe just keeps taunting you, every time you think of making something, "y'know, I haven't made that yet, and I keep thinking I should make it ... but not today, I don't have the time today." For me, this recipe has been babka. Ever since I made pierogis a while back, I've been thinking about this recipe, how it would be nice to get more in touch with my culinary roots ... but it's yeasted. Yeasted means waiting all day for dough to rise, and I just haven't had it in me. Until now, anyway.
This recipe reminds me a lot of cinnamon bread, and like cinnamon bread, I was kicking myself later for following the recipe -- it seems like they never tell you to roll the dough out very much, and then, you just don't get enough layers of filling. It was even more pronounced with this recipe, 'cause the filling layer was really thick -- my boyfriend said that eating this sort of reminded him of a chocolate-filled doughnut, except not creamy. It's still pretty tasty, but next time, I'd definitely roll the dough out way larger, so when you roll it up, you get more, thinner layers.
From The Bread Bible
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c warm water
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 c warm milk
3 eggs, room temperature
4 c flour
1-2 tbsp butter, melted, for brushing dough
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c flour
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
1. Pour the warm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, then sprinkle on a pinch of the sugar. Let stand until foamy.
2. Whisk together the butter, the rest of the sugar and the salt, vanilla, almond extract, milk and eggs. Add in 1 cup of flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the yeast mixture.
3. Add in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon, until a soft dough is formed.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and silky. Be certain that the dough remains soft.
5. Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn it over to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
6. Meanwhile, combine the filling ingredients in a small bowl and crumble them together.
7. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat it into a 10-by-12-inch (or larger if you prefer) rectangle and brush with melted butter. Spread the filling on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Roll up the dough into a log and pinch the seams together. Holding one end, twist the dough six or eight times to make a rope. Grease a tube plan and place the rope of dough inside, pinching the ends together and patting it so it's even in the pan.
8. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 45 minutes.
9. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 40-45 minutes, until the loaf is browned, a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
10. Let stand 5 minutes in the pan, then depan and let cool on a rack before slicing.