Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chocolate swirl "Babka" Buns

Before the summer, my sister-in-law asked me to help her make Babka.  I had never heard of it before, so I was up for the challenge.  Babka is a yeast dough that is twisted in a high pan with chocolate or cinnamon filling.  She had had it at a family party, loved it so much, brought it home and saved it in her freezer for me to try.  I actually never got to try it, so I can't say for sure that this is going to satisfy her quest for the matched recipe.  But, I can say that I am glad she asked me to make it because these were AWESOME!  They are super easy to make and I purposely made them during a week when my kids were too busy eating their favorite cereal to notice what they were missing.  Warm them up for 20 seconds in the microwave and they are warm and delicious the next day with your morning coffee.

Just think, melted chocolate smell wafting through your house- whose Valentine wouldn't want to wake up to that smell?

Chocolate Swirl Buns:

Oven: 350'

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBSP unsalted butter - room temperature
1/4 sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk (whole is best)

3 TBSP unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
8 oz. semisweet chocolate

1) Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in bowl of mixer with the whisk.  Remove the whisk, replace with dough hook.

2) Heat the milk to 90-110', very warm to the touch- I used the microwave for mine.  Whisk the egg into the warm milk.  Slowly pour the milk/egg mixture into the flour mixture, while mixing with the dough hook on low.  

3) Cut the butter into three pieces, add to the mixing dough.  Let knead for about ten minutes.  The dough will be sticky- that is ok, you do not need to add more flour or the buns won't bake with the same texture.

4) Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.

5) Make the filling- Place the chocolate, salt, and sugar in the bowl of your food processor with the blade in.  Pulse until the chocolate is chopped into fine pieces.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a gritty, crumbly paste.  

6) Once dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface and let it rest 5 minutes.  Grease your muffin pan while you wait- make sure to spray with non-stick spray in the wells.  
Roll the dough out into a 12x20 rectangle, it will be very thin.  I was worried and didn't roll mine out to the full size.  Spread the filling all over the dough, but stay 1/2" away from all the edges-otherwise it will overflow in the oven and smell like burnt chocolate.  With your hands on the short (12") edge, roll the dough into a tight log.  Pinch the open end down to create a seam.  Cut 1" pieces with a serrated knife and place each bun into a well of your prepared muffin pan.  

7) Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through.

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