I recently posted a pumpkin Babka recipe , and I’ve made many different kinds of Babka before (recipes you can find on my blog just search for Babka) But as the weather is getting colder it’s the season for cozy foods and dessert. For me cozy is the smell of saffron, and mulled juice, lights in the dark, snow (if you get some) and wooly socks and sweaters. Don’t you feel it’s getting close to the winter season now?? 🙂
One of the main ingredients used in Sweden during this time is Saffron. And so as I’m into all things gluten and fluffy and warm and cozy right now, I thought let’s try a saffron Babka with white chocolate and almond paste. My bank recipe always gives you two babkas, so therefor I decided that one Babka will be white chocolate and the other will be with dark chocolate. It’s not as hard as you may think- it’s a simple butter brioche type of dough, the only thing is , it needs to be set the night before. So a great make a head (sort of) bake. Give it a go, you will LOVE it!
Here’s how you make it!
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cup whole milk ,warmed
- 1 packet saffron paste , or 2 tsp saffron powder
- 1 packet dry active yeast
- 1 large egg plus one large egg yolk
- 113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small cubes
- 3 tsp ground cardamom
- 200g almond paste, thinly sliced (I slice using a cheese slicer)
- 100g white chocolate
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk
- To make the dough – In a saucepan, heat up the milk with the saffron to 37C (finger warmth), then remove from the heat and place into your stand mixer along with the live yeast, mix a little so it comes together. (If you are using dry yeast then let it sit a while till it starts bubbling up).
- Beat the egg and egg yolk a little in a small bowl and add them ontop of the yeast. Then sprinkle the flour, sugar and sea salt on top. Mix at low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix at medium speed until all of the dry ingredients are mixed in thoroughly and the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Add all of the butter at once and mix at low speed until it is thoroughly mixed in together and a sticky dough forms, about 3 minutes; scrape down the side of the bowl as needed during mixing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a wet tea towel and let the dough stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and coat the paper generously with nonstick baking spray. Scrape the dough out onto the parchment paper and cut the dough in half. Pat each piece into a square. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Once the dough has rested overnight, take it out and let it rest till it gets to room temperature. This is VERY important, because once you start spreading the melted chocolate on, if the dough is still cold, the filling will crack and the dough will not roll up properly. While the dough rests, In a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt both chocolates, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
- Coat two 9-by-4-inch loaf pans with nonstick baking spray and line with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on each of the long sides.
- Roll out each square of dough to a 16-inch square. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate in an even layer over the dough squares to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Then place the almond paste over it evenly. Starting at the long edge nearest you, tightly roll up each square into a jam roll–style , so it essentially becomes a tightly rolled log.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the logs in half crosswise. Using an offset spatula, spread 1/4 cup of the reserved filling on the top and sides of 2 of the halves. Set the other halves on top in the opposite direction to form a cross. Twist to form spirals and transfer to the prepared pans. Cover the loaves with a towel and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. (scroll down for images to better understand how to do this)
- Preheat the oven to 190 C°. Brush with egg wash and Bake the Babka’s in the center of the oven for about 40-45 min, until puffed and well browned. Let cool slightly, then use the parchment paper to lift the babkas out of the pans and onto a rack set over a baking sheet.