I’ve wanted to bake this recipe for BABKA since the first night I sat down with Rose Levy Beranbaum’s latest Baking Book:
While she list several options for filling the BABKA, an Almond Filling, an Apricot and Cream Cheese Schmear Filling, I am always partial to bittersweet chocolate, so I choose the Chocolate Almond Schmear Filling option.
HOW IT WORKS:
Each week we as 25 Alpha Bakers, are assigned one of the recipes from Rose’s new baking book and we as a group all over the world bake the same recipe at the same time. Our objective is to share our successes, where we got stumped, what questions did we have along the way, our joys and in some cases our baking shortcomings.
PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week. It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog. Thank you all for your comments!
FULL DISCLOSURE: This week I did NOT cheat and I followed the recipe as written.
We first began with a dough starter or a sponge.
There was quite the controversy over the volume measurement of the King Arthur’s Baker’s Special nonfat dry milk vs. other brands; most Alpha Bakers stated that they used Carnation dry milk – as did I. This type of clarification is one of the things I so enjoy in working with the other Alpha Bakers during the baking of recipes from The Baking Bible; we support each other fearlessly and offer advise as we are able. Thank you Alpha Bakers!
After the sponge was made, we covered it to allow the gasses from the yeast to begin to bloom, while making the flour blanket
Nancy takes advantage of her stone counter tops as items placed on the counter will find equilibrium temperature with the stones temperature. Per Nancy, “… butter gets soft quickly without needing to add heat and risk melting. ” Please visit Nancy’s blog at: Bread&Cake&More
Both Vicki Granny and Hanaa The Baker prefer the microwave method. Per Hanna, “… I always use the ‘power level’ feature of my microwave. I used it just this past weekend to bring frozen butter to room temp. It takes a few minutes and patience but it works great. I start with 90 second at power level 1 or 10 (it means 10% power). And then I turn the stick of butter to a different side and repeat.
Please visit Vicki Granny’s blog at: Heavenly Cake Walk
and please visit Hanaa’s food blog at: Hanaa’s Kitchen
Peggy, who lives in Singapore, doesn’t have any problem bringing butter to room temperature as the climate is so hot, …” I usually don’t have this problem since butter soften less than 5 minutes on my counter top…and melts if i leave it longer. But even so, I always cut my butter into cubes so it soften faster..(cos I always do the fridge to the mixing bowl right away). Sometimes if I can’t even wait 1 minute, then I will use microwave, but microwave 2-3 seconds interval.”
Please visit Peggy Peg’s food blog at: diary of Faithy, the baker
See, isn’t the support for each other amazing!
Again, Thank you Alpha Bakers!
The filling called for cake crumbs; another discussion… I decided on Double Chocolate Cup Cakes for this portion as I didn’t have time to bake a cake for crumbs and well, why not?
I am bringing the egg to room temperature by using one of Rose’s recommendations; I place the cold egg in HOT water for about 5 minutes and it’s ready by the time my mise en place is collected.
Let’s don’t mention the “Missing Cup Cake” As Anne Burrell always says, “Quality Control….”HE HE
In order to facilitate a nice, golden brown crust, 1/2 cup of ice cubes were tossed into a prepared pan sitting on the base of the oven, to produce steam during the first 15 minutes of baking. The bread was baked for 15 minutes then turned to ensure even baking and covered with aluminum foil to prevent over browning. The bread was then left to bake for another 15 minutes; it wasn’t quite ready so I left it in the oven for an additional 10 minutes until the desired internal temperature was achieved.
The HOUSE SMELLED SO WONDERFUL as the bread baked away. I love the fact that I am a baker and an Alpha Baker!