The January challenge at Sourdough Surprises was Sourdough Babka (pronounced, the internet tells me, Bahb-kah). Babka is a rich bread with some type of filling rolled up in it, commonly chocolate or cinnamon. The base dough is brioche (French, pronounced Bree-osh), which has eggs, and milk, and large quantities of butter.
I will mention now that it is my new pet peeve that many bread books do not bother to give the pronunciation of the bread names/process names which are often French, my personal pronunciation Achilles heel. Although babka is Polish, if I remember right.
Anyhow. I almost didn’t participate in this challenge, since not only have I never made brioche, I’ve never eaten any or seen any, so how would I know if it turned out right? I’m glad I went ahead anyway, though, because this was good stuff.
I chose to make a chocolate babka. All of you who know me are now free to have a heart attack and die of not-surprise. For the dough I used the sourdough brioche recipe at Double Helpings. For the filling, I used the filling recipe from this recipe at Allrecipes.com. There is some cinnamon in the chocolate filling.
My shaping technique was somewhat haphazard. The dough was very soft (as a side note, it also smelled amazingly good) so it was a little hard to work with for shaping, but I managed. I should have rolled tighter, there are quite a few big air pockets in the swirls.
The important thing is the taste, and between the flaky crust, rich dough and the thick swirls of chocolate, there were no problems in the taste department. The babka was a hit all around. I said I wasn’t sure I liked the chocolate/cinnamon combination, and the Dearest Husband said “I like everything about it.”
We ate some for dessert last night, and some for breakfast this morning. It is a little sweet for breakfast, though.
If you want to see the other babkas people made for this challenge, go on over to Sourdough Surprises.