Chocolate and Cumin Babka by the queen of baking and Gozney Ambassador @candicebrown. The perfect sweet treat for the festive season and beyond.
For the dough:
180ml / 6 oz whole milk
10g / 0.35 oz instant yeast
400g / 11.4 oz strong bread flour
25g / 0.88 oz caster sugar
7g / 0.25 oz salt
80g / 2.8 oz soft butter
For the filling:
125g /4.4 oz soft brown sugar
75g / 2.6 oz unsalted butter
75g / 2.6 oz dark chocolate chips
20g / 0.7 oz cocoa
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 egg, beaten to egg wash
Pinch of sea salt
Heat the milk until blood temperature then mix in the yeast and set to one side for a few minutes until foamy on top.
Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, make a small well in the middle then add the sugar on one side of the bowl, the salt on the other, then crack the egg into the well.
Turn the stand mixer, with a dough hook attachment, to a low speed then gradually pour the warm milk and yeast mix into the bowl.
When the dough has come together into one big ball of dough add the soft butter bit by bit, adding the next bit of butter when the one before has fully combined. When all the butter has been added leave the mixer to knead the dough for 4-5 minutes until the dough is smooth and ‘elastic’.
Finish kneading the dough by hand for a few minutes then form into a smooth ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size. (You can also leave the dough in the fridge overnight.)
Make the babka filling by placing the sugar and butter into a small frying pan and gently melt together on the mantel of the Gozney.
Take the frying pan away from the heat and add in the chocolate chips. Leave the chocolate to sit for 30 seconds then mix through with the cocoa powder and cinnamon until well combined and smooth. Place the chocolate filling into the fridge to cool completely.
Toast the cumin seeds for a minute or so, in a small pan on the edge of the Gozney, until just fragrant then leave to cool.
Knock the air out of the dough and roll out to around 35x45cm.
Spread the chilled chocolate mix over the dough, leaving a 1cm border around the edge then sprinkle over the toasted cumin seeds.
Roll the dough from the long edge until you have a long log shape then pinch one end of the dough together to seal it. Starting 2 cm down from the sealed end, cut the dough straight down the middle so you have two long strands connected at the top.
Twist the two strands around each other, keeping the chocolate layers facing up, then gently pinch together the bottom end.
Line a skillet pan with greaseproof paper (making sure the paper doesn’t stick up over the edge) then lay the twisted dough around the skillet.
Place the skillet in a large plastic bag and leave to prove in a warm place for around 1 hour until it has puffed up then gently brush on the egg wash and sprinkle with some sea salt.
Heat the Gozney to between 250-330°C / 480-630°F ensuring there are only embers left (If using gas, once the oven is up to temperature, turn off the flame) and bake the babka for around 20 minutes with the door on until risen and a deep golden brown, adding a little foil over the top of the babka if it is browning too quickly. (Don’t be tempted to open the door for at least the first 10 minutes). Then slice and serve.
Candice Brown (@candicebrown) is a Great British Bake Off Winner, successful pub owner, author, mental health campaigner, and cook. Yep, she does it all. Candice describes cooking as a process she loves from start to finish, creating hearty, home-cooked recipes, especially in her book ‘Happy Cooking’.