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Babka – Ukrainian Sweet Braided Bread Recipe

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Babka is loaded with chocolate, butter, and old-world charm, served as dessert, with coffee, or as breakfast. While baking, the rich dough becomes incredibly tender, so it pulls apart in buttery pieces that melt in your mouth.
 

This luscious bread has it’s origins in Ukraine, as does Lisa our amazing kitchen manager – we stand united.

Babka Braided Bread

Ingredients

  • 150ml whole milk
  • 140g unsalted butter – room temperature, plus extra to grease
  • 125g plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 125g strong white bread flour
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 5g fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 large free-range eggs in separate bowls, lightly beaten

For the filling

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 80g soft light brown sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

You will need

  • 2 litre loaf tin, lightly buttered

Method:

  1. 1. Slowly warm the milk and melt 40g of butter in a saucepan – don’t boil. Put flours, salt, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer, combine. Make a well, pour the warmed milk and one beaten egg then mix together. Using a dough hook mix for 15 minutes until smooth.
  2.  
  3. 2. Turn the speed up, add the remaining butter, a tablespoon at a time. Mix for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth, slightly sticky and elastic. Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for 45-60 minutes. Chill for another 30 minutes.
  4.  
  5. 3. To make the filling. Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan, add the remaining ingredients and stir. Leave to cool.
  6.  
  7. 4. Flour your surface and. roll the dough to a 28cm x 60cm rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, take a long edge and roll up like a swiss roll.
  8.  
  9. 5. With the seam underneath, cut the dough lengthways down the centre, leaving the halves attached at one end by 4cm. Twist the two strands around each other, then lay the dough in the tin, it doesn’t have to be neat. Cover loosely with cling film prove in a warm place for about 30 mins. It’s ready when a gentle prod from your finger leaves a slight indentation in the dough. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  10.  
  11. 6. Brush the top of the loaf with the remaining beaten egg and bake for 1 hour, loosely covering with foil after 25 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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