My first loaf of Chocolate Babka popped out of my oven on January 23rd. It will remain a special day for me; I have found my go-to weekend loaf. When this loaf of bread came out of the oven, oh my it was worth the wait. The golden brown on top and the dense, rich chocolatey taste was everything I wanted.
I come across the Chocolate Babka recipe randomly browsing on Food52.com and thought, ‘hmmm it seems pretty easy and I generally have all the ingredient in my kitchen’. I saved the recipe and forgot about it for awhile…
This recipe came back to me on a Saturday after a long week of exams and homework and emotional distress and really really craved carbs. This might be from a result of lack of sleep and eating salads for lunch consecutively. I also felt kind of adventurous; I thought of the yeast in my cupboard. The recipe was by Yossy Arefi, posted on Food52, an online community that I go to almost daily for lunch, dinner, dessert basically anything food related ideas (Thanks everyone who contribute to Food52. I appreciate every recipe, comment and FAQ answers).
I am a sucker when it comes to following recipes. I tried really hard to follow the recipe to the T but I still changed things up a little. I skimped on the flour and added more butter in the filling, these tweaks turned out fine, but I never waited until the bread to cool before I cut it – that was fatal.
Second attempt was ambitions, driven by the intent to try 4 different doughs to add more moisture into the bread. I also wanted to see how the Matcha color will come out when baked. I woke up at 6am and was ready to bake. The measuring scale was my best friend that morning as I had to measure out 4 portions of everything. Math wasn’t too easy at that hour, but, every single one of the dough balls came out to 226 grams. It was rewarding.
These loaves turned out much smaller, pretty but I must say, the bigger loaf tasted better as the dough and swirls developed fuller. The top left was a chocolate and walnut, the green one matcha, the bottom left was just chocolate and the bottom right was cinnamon sugar. I brought a chunk of each loaf to work to get some feedback. Chef Eric said the cinnamon loaf needed much more cinnamon but the Matcha loaf smelled heavenly.
I definitely did not stop at the second attempt. These are some of my favorite things to make and share right now and a continuous work in progress. Ask me for a loaf; I promise they are chocolatey, rich and pretty. Look for me on Instagram or Facebook; I love to share!
Lastly, welcome to my baking meditations. Baking soothes my mind, challenges me to be creative and improve.