Sourdough Babka

Sunday, January 20, 2013

This month we are going to pull out all the stops and  have prepared a really special treat for you. And we are totally going to ignore the fact that everyone is supposed to be on a diet this month and instead force you into eating lots of butter and chocolate. This month is kind of a double challenge - we want you to use your starters to make a sourdough brioche, and we want you to use your brioche dough to make a babka!

Sourdough Babka Recipe (Sourdough Surprises)

What is a babka, you ask? It is a sweet, swirly, enriched bread with roots in Eastern Europe, though many different cultures have their own versions.  Part breakfast-y, part dessert-y, the babka can be the perfect anytime loaf.  The two traditional flavors are chocolate and cinnamon, but don't let that limit your creativity here!

Want to join in on the fun? Awesome! All you have to do is make a babka that includes your sourdough starter, and then post your lovely creation on January 20. Include this HTML code on your own blog so that everyone can see all the awesome babkas that were made:
<script type="text/javascript" src="" ></script> 
(If you can't add the linky tool your blog, that is ok, but please remember to enter your link so we can see what you have made!)

Don't have a blog but still want to bake along with us? No problem! The more the merrier!! Simply bake your babka and then send an e-mail to with a picture (or two!) of your delicious creations. Include your name and what you made and we'll make sure you are included in our post. 

All of your hard work paid off, and oh man, were these totally worth it! This might be our favorite challenge yet!Please check out all the amazing babka's that were made this month, and don't forget to link yours up! And don't forget about our  Sourdough Babka Pinterest Board, and, finally, remember to stop back in a few days to see what we will be making next!

Sourdough Babka Recipe (Sourdough Surprises)

Sourdough Chocolate Cinnamon Babka Recipe (slightly adapted from Double Helpings and Martha Stewart)

Yield: 1 loaf

Sourdough Brioche:
250 g flour
125 g sourdough starter, 100% hydration
15 g sugar
5 g salt
2 eggs
100 g milk
150 g butter, room temperature

Chocolate Cinnamon Filling:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
4 TBSP butter, room temperature

Egg Wash:
1 tsp heavy cream
1 egg white

4 TBSP butter, room temperature
1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar

To make the Dough:
Cut the butter into cubes and set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the flour, starter, sugar, salt, eggs, and milk (do not add the butter yet!) and mix until you form a stiff batter.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Mix on medium speed for another 10-15 minutes, until the batter starts to resemble a soft dough, but without the same degree of elasticity.
Using a rubber spatula, fold/massage/smear in the butter until no lumps remain.
Place the dough into a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a cool place for 15 hours.

To Make the Filling:
In a medium bowl, combine the filling ingredients (chocolate, butter, cinnamon and sugar) using a fork to evenly mix everything together.
Remove 2 TBSP of this filling and place it in a separate bowl.

To Make the Topping:
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping with a fork until well mixed. It should be crumbly.

Generously butter a 9x5 loaf pan.
Generously sprinkle your work surface with flour and turn the dough out on top (at this point the dough may be very very sticky, and you might need to work a little bit more flour into the dough - this is fine, just be careful to only take the dough a touch past extremely sticky. Keeping your counter and rolling pin well floured helps.
Roll the dough out into a 16 inch square about 1/8 inch thick.
Brush the edges with the egg wash.
Evenly spread the chocolate filling over the dough (keeping the reserved 2 TBSP for later).
Roll the dough up tight like a jelly roll.
Pinch the edges together to seal.
Twist the log of dough 5 or 6 times along the length.
Brush the top of the roll with egg wash.
Carefully take the 2 TBSP of chocolate filling and place it on top of the left half of egg roll, pressing them in slightly.
Fold the right half of the roll over the left half, sealing in the chocolate (think about a 1 slice of bread sandwich).
Pinch the edges together and fold them under.
Twist the roll twice and place it into the prepared loaf pan.
Brush some of the egg wash over the top of the loaf and sprinkle on the topping.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
Bake the loaf 55 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 325F and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until deep golden brown.
Cool in the pan, on a wire rack.


Joan said...

Thanks for the challenge. The results all look so tasty! I will be trying at least one of these in the future.

Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed wandering around the ether drooling over the scrumptious looking babka that have been made in the name of Sourdough Surprises...Korena tried to kill me with her version...a body can drown in too much drool you know! :)

Sourdoug Surprises said...

So glad that you enjoyed looking through them all! They all look amazing, don't they?

Phoenix said...

this is realllly sounding so YUMM ! GRT !

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

I baked with you but didn't get my post up by the 20th. I just posted it today. Thanks for the sourdough surprise. It was fun!

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