Chocolate Week was well and truly here for the GBBO bakers on Tuesday, with the second challenge asking them to create a chocolate babka.
Many of the contestants had never made the recipe before, which is comprised of mostly chocolate and bread inside a massive braid. Judge Prue Leith even admitted that it’s a hard bread to make.
Viewers practically had their mouths watering at the chocolate bread, as bakers went against the clock to make it. Here’s the exact recipe and step-by-step guide for the GBBO episode 4 chocolate babka!
Ingredients: Chocolate babka
Bring all the baking skills you have for this one, as the difficulty level is set to ‘Needs skill’. Most ingredients are luckily staple household items – however there are a few that might catch you out, such as blanched hazelnuts and dried yeast.
The ingredients needed for the filling are: 65g blanched hazelnuts, 100g unsalted butter, 150g caster sugar, 80g 70% dark chocolate, chopped and 40g cocoa powder.
For the dough, there is a slightly longer list of ingredients required. These include: 275g plain flour, 5g fast-action dried yeast, 25g caster sugar, ½ tsp fine salt, 2 beaten eggs, 50ml whole milk and 80g unsalted butter that is cubed and softened.
Finally, you will need 100g caster sugar for the syrup to go on top!
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How to make the GBBO chocolate babka
To make the babka, it takes 30 minutes of hands-on time, and then 45 minutes to bake. So you’ll need to set aside a good hour and a half to create the GBBO recipe. Prepare yourselves, as there’s quite a few steps involved!
Step 1: Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.
Step 2: Make the filling. Tip the hazelnuts into a baking tray and roast in the bottom of the oven for 4–5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until light golden. Tip onto a chopping board, leave to cool, then roughly chop half the hazelnuts and finely chop the remainder. Set aside.
Step 3: Place the butter, sugar and chocolate in a pan and melt very slowly over a low heat, stirring until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool and thicken slightly.
Step 4: Meanwhile, make the dough. Tip the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the sugar and salt to the other side.
Step 5: Make a well in the centre and pour in the eggs and milk, then mix on slow speed for 2–3 minutes, until firm.
Step 6: Increase the speed to medium and add the butter, a little at a time. Mix well between each addition, allowing the butter to incorporate before adding more.
Step 7: Once you have added all the butter, continue kneading with the dough hook on medium speed through the sticky stage, until you have a ball of smooth, silky, shiny dough.
Step 8: Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a 40 x 30cm rectangle, with a long edge closest to you.
Step 9: Spread the cooled chocolate mixture over the dough, leaving a 1cm border all around. Sprinkle all the toasted hazelnuts over the top.
Step 10: Starting from the long edge closest to you, roll up the dough into a tight spiral, with the seam underneath.
Step 11: Trim about 2cm off each end to neaten, then turn the roll through 90° clockwise so that a short end is closest to you. Using a large, sharp knife or a pizza cutter, slice lengthways, down through the middle of the dough, cutting it into 2 long pieces.
Step 12: With the cut-sides facing upwards, gently press the top end of each half together to seal, then lift the right half over the left half, followed by the left half over the right half. Repeat, twisting the dough to make a two-stranded plait, then gently press the bottom ends together to seal.
Step 13: Carefully lift the loaf into the lined tin and cover with a clean tea towel (or place in a proving bag, if you have one). Leave at room temperature for about 2 hours (or in a proving drawer for 1 hour), until doubled in size.
Step 14: Fifteen minutes before the end of the proving time, heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas 5.
Step 15: When the babka has proved, bake it for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/150°C fan/Gas 3 and cook for a further 25–30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Step 16: While the babka is baking, make the syrup. Tip the sugar and 100ml water into a small pan, bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes, until syrupy. Leave to cool.
Step 17: When the babka is ready, transfer it in the tin to a wire rack. Brush the cooled syrup over the hot babka, then leave in the tin until warm enough to handle. Turn out onto the wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.
WATCH GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF EVERY TUESDAY AT 8 PM ON CHANNEL 4