There is something wonderfully magical about making bread, particularly yeast dough.
Even though I typically follow recipes very strictly when I’m baking bread, there is something whimsical about the process that captures my imagination and fascinates me every time. The smell of the yeast… watching the rises… kneading and molding it into something delicious and beautiful… I truly enjoy the entire process.
Add chocolate into the mix, and I cannot think of a more delightfully intoxicating way to spend an afternoon in the kitchen!
For a late holiday family get-together, I decided to embark on a kitchen adventure and create some chocolate babka, using my favorite recipe from one of my favorite food blogs: smittenkitchen.com. (Find recipe for Better Chocolate Babka here!)
This recipe (though it may seem a bit intimidating at first glance) is very simple, easy to follow, uses normal ingredients (I was low on chocolate for this batch and used Hershey’s cocoa powder and some remaining chocolate chips, and it tasted incredible!), and is pretty forgiving! I started my bread at home, and then packed my towel-covered loaves for a traveling second rise, to be baked in my aunt’s oven upon arrival… despite the freezing air temperature and unconventional place for rising (a cardboard box in the trunk of a car, covered with a dish towel…) the dough behaved beautifully and was just as stunning as it was when I first attempted this recipe in completely controlled conditions.
The original author provides many helpful notes within her post, which I cannot do justice here… I hope that you will follow the link provided above to her posting, to explore this recipe for yourself …and enjoy every delicious bite!!!