Babka, Best Chocolate, Cinnamon or Poppy - pareve, dairy

Posted by : Ruth Heiges

This is from Marcy Goldman's forthcoming book, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday
BakingŠ. What so appeals to me about the way she presents her recipes is
the alternative methods and tools/appliances she provides. I came across
this only today, so haven't made it. I'm sure the bread-machine option will
appeal to many.
Best Chocolate, Cinnamon or Poppy Bubka 
Homemade bubka looks as professional as bakery bubka but it tastes much
better. I use my bread machine to make bubka dough. I often cold rise the
dough overnight. 
Bubka dough is fine when made with all-purpose flour such as unbleached
white flour from Hodgson Mill or Five Roses. The best approach involves a
combination of bread flour and all purpose. Half and half, or one third
bread flour to two thirds all-purpose. 
Processor method (8-10 cup capacity):
In a measuring cup, stir together water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Allow
to stand a few minutes. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs (or
yolks), milk or sour cream, vanilla or other extracts. Bread dough made in
a processor can be dense, but bubkas do quite well using this method. 
Place flour, salt, and sugar (and milk powder, if using) in food processor 
work bowl. Process, to cut butter into flour, pulsing until mixture is
grainy. Add dissolved yeast and egg mixture into processor work bowl on top
of butter/flour mixture. Pulse, to incorporate liquid and dry ingredients
and form a soft mass of dough - this should take under a minute. Remove
from work bowl and turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead five
minutes by hand to make dough smooth. 
Bread machine:
(For 1 1/2 pound machines or larger. If you have a smaller machine, you
will have to divide the dough in two and knead in two shifts.) Set your
machine on dough cycle. Place water, yeast and pinch of sugar in bread
machine pan. Wait for a few moments (or let let pre-heat begin if your
machine is so equipped). 
Add eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt, milk powder (if called for) and any other
additions, and a cup of the flour. On top of flour, place the cut up chunks
of softened butter. Add remaining flour. 
Often, doughs which exceed four cups of flour (in volume) need assistance
and the initial part of the cycle. Using a rubber spatula, poke flour from
sides or corners into center and make sure dough is being incorporated.
Once a mass is formed, the dough will begin to clump. Dust in additional
flour as required to make a soft, bouncy ball. Let dough rise in machine,
remove and gently deflate. Then proceed with assembly of recipe. 
Best Chocolate, Cinnamon or Poppy Bubka:
A classic bubka that could be made with poppy seed paste or cinnamon glaze
as well (see variations). This bubka calls for dry milk powder - a
professional baker's trick. Since yeast does not dissolve that well in
milk, the pros use water and add the richness of milk in dry form. 
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons yeast
pinch sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 drops almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk powder
1 cup unsalted butter - softened in small pieces
6 cups (approx.) Hodgson Mill or Five Roses unbleached all-purpose flour or
combination (or see notes above).
Chocolate, Cinnamon (below)
l beaten egg 
Sugar for sprinkling
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together water, yeast, and pinch of sugar.   
Let stand about five minutes to allow yeast to swell and dissolve. Stir in
eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, almond extract, lemon juice, sugar, salt and milk
powder. Fold in softened butter and flour. Mix dough, then knead as it
becomes a mass (with a dough hook or by hand) for about 8 to 10 minutes -
until smooth and elastic. 
Place dough in a well greased bowl and place entire bowl in a plastic bag
and seal. Allow to rise until puffy, about 45-90 minutes. (Can also be
refrigerated overnight to resume next day, allowing dough to warm up a bit
before proceeding). 
Divide dough in two equal parts. Cover with a tea towel and let rest ten
minutes. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or generously
grease two 9 inch springform or layer cake pans. If making one large bubka,
generously butter a 10 inch tube pan. 
On a lightly floured board, roll dough into a 16 by 16 inch square. Arrange
or spread on filling of choice (below) all over dough surface. Roll up
dough into a large jellyroll. Cut in half. Place both halves in prepared 
pan, beside each other - it doesn't matter if they are a little squished. 
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with some sugar. Place loaf pan in a  
plastic bag and let rise until bubka is flush or over top of pan. 
Repeat with other half of dough, using a different filling, if desired. 
To use all of dough in one large bubka, procedure is the same but you will
be using all of dough at once. Roll dough out into a 20 inch square
(instead of 16 by 16) and proceed as above. A large bubka is especially
dramatic but two smaller ones give you two flavor and assembly options. 
Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 35-45 minutes (50-70 minutes for one large
bubka) until bubka is medium brown. Cool pan fifteen minutes before
removing to a rack or serving plate. 
CHOCOLATE FILLING (baker's call this a 'smear")
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
Grind chocolate chips, cinnamon, cocoa, sugar, and butter in a food
processor to make a loose paste. You can also use a chopped up, imported
Swiss chocolate bar, semi-sweet or milk chocolate. 
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2-4 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts - optional
In a food processor, process the butter, sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon and
walnuts to make a loose paste. You can substitute maple syrup for corn syrup.
Copyright Marcy Goldman

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