This past weekend has been awesome!!!
On Saturday we went out to lunch with a friend who was on vacation in Florida. It was good to see him, his wife, and adorable 1 year old daughter.
And then the offer we put on the house we have been loving for a year was accepted. Oh my goodness. We are still in shock! It’s so exciting. We stopped by the sales office today but some changes to the plan needed to be coded so we are going back to sign the contract tomorrow night. Holy Smokes!
But more on the house stuff later!
Today is Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day!!!!
When I had previously had Karen’s blog, Karen’s Kitchen Stories, for a Secret Recipe Club blog post swap I was so enticed by her many recipes, especially bread recipes. I was so really excited that her blog came up in rotation again for me so that I could make one of her many awesome recipes.
I realized that I wouldn’t be able to put making my SRC off until the last minute (like usual!) since I would be doing Whole30 again when the SRC post would go live, so I planned on making my recipe in advance so I decided that my recipe had to be pretty epic before diving into Whole30. So what would be epic?
Chocolate Walnut Babka!!!!!!
This was the best way to kick off Whole30! Ha! I made this for us and we enjoyed most of a loaf for dinner. I mean, what’s a better way to welcome a month of no grain, no butter, no chocolate, than a loaf of bread filled with it. But let me tell you, that treat was incredible!
The babka bread is so flavorful with all the spice in the dough and chocolatey, nutty filling. The dough is soft and tender so it’s a nice light bread, but it still has substance from the filling. It’s a bread that you will keep cutting off slices of again and again. It’s so delicious.
I changed some of the proportions of the filling to just make it a bit more chocolately and, generally, pack more of a punch. I just treated it like how I treat making cinnamon rolls. The more butter, cinnamon, and sugar… the better! So I just tweaked the filling a bit.
Karen did mention how different the loaf would look if you scored the top vs pricking it with a tooth pick. I tried different ways with each loaf and I have to agree with Karen that the loaf that is pricked is much prettier. But you can’t go wrong either way.
I broke down the steps into many simple steps. It might seem cray and intimidating to see a lot of steps but I like to think of them as simple steps, not 5 steps that have several parts to it. So, don’t freak out, take a breath, and just start with #1 and the rest will be easy.
Get our your yeast, grab some walnuts, and chop up some chocolate. Get started on this awesome Chocolate Walnut Bread!
Chocolate Walnut Babka
Makes 2 loaves
For the Bread
- 2 large room temperature eggs
- 1 pound, 10 1/5 ounces all purpose flour (unbleached)
- 1 1/8 ounces nonfat dry milk
- 3 1/2 ounces sugar
- 5 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature butter
- 2 T instant yeast
- 2 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 to 10 ounces of 95 to 100 degree F water depending on the humidity
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Filling
- 4 ounces sugar
- 1 ounce cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
- 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon expresso powder
- 2 ounces butter, melted
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into fine pieces and small chunks
- 4 ounces chopped walnuts
For the Egg Wash
- 1 large beaten egg
- a pinch of salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the ingredients together and mix with the hook attachment until everything is just combined. If the dough is too dry, add more water a Tablespoon at a time.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
- Mix the dough again for about 7 minutes.
- Let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Combine all of the filling in a large bowl.
- Grease two 9 by 5 inch loaf pans.
- Remove the dough and place onto a well floured surface. Deflate the dough and divide it in half. Roll out the dough halves into 9″ by 18″ rectangles.
- Evenly spread 1/2 of the filling on each piece of dough.
- Roll each rectangle along the long edge. Seal the seam and the ends of the loaves by pressing the dough ends under the loaf. Place the loaves into the pans with the seam side down.
- Spray the top of the loaves with spray oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let the loaves rise for 1 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the top is 1 inch above the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush the loaves with the egg wash, poke the top of the loaves with a skewer or a toothpick several times, and place them in the oven.
- Immediately lower the temperature to 300 degrees F.
- Bake the loaves for 50 to 60 minutes, until they reach about 180 degrees. If the loaves begin to get too brown, tent with foil.
- Remove the loaves from the oven and run a knife along the sides. Let the loaves cool in the pan for ten minutes, the remove them from the pans, place them on a cooling rack, and let them cool completely.
Adapted from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Check out all the other great Secret Recipe Club posts HERE this month!
And be sure to check out my 4+ years of Secret Recipe Club posts!!!!
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