This breadmaking stuff is ADDICTIVE. Immediately after making my last loaf, I came across a tutorial for a babka twist technique that I absolutely had to try before I left for my business trip. So I woke up super early Saturday morning before my flight to Orlando and put together this loaf while it was still dark. I adapted it a bit, and it creates a gorgeous “fancy” loaf of bread that would be the perfect treat for Valentine’s day. Did I mention it has chocolate in it?
For the loaf:
1 cup sourdough starter
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 ½-inch border teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
3/4 cup coconut milk (or regular)
4 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
For the chocolate swirl:
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or bar, chopped)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom + 1 teaspoon ground mint crystals, mixed together (if you don’t have the mint crystals, substitute with peppermint extract)
- Mix the sourdough starter and melted butter. Now stir in the egg, sugar, cinnamon, and milk.
- Slowly add/stir in the flour and salt. Add additional milk or flour if you feel your dough is lacking in moisture/structure. The consistency of the dough should be a little gooey not entirely firm and elastic.
- Cover and refrigerate for 24-48 hours, allowing the gluten to develop and the grains to ferment (more fermented = more easily digestible).
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Flour a large flat surface (your countertop) and roll gently into a rectangle-shape that is about 1/2-inch thick.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s melted, add chocolate and stir frequently until melted. Add cardamom/mint misture.
- Spread dough with chocolate mixture, leaving about a ½-inch border. Slice the dough down the middle lengthwise using a pastry cutter or butter knife. Roll each cut of dough into a log, beginning with a long edge.
- Stretch out dough slightly and then twist the two lengths of dough together. Tuck and twist the ends under the loaf, completing the knot.
- Place the loaf into a greased (I used coconut oil) bread pan, cover, and allow to sit for 40-60 minutes.
- Bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.
Dark chocolate + cardamom = amazing! This was my first time working with whole cardamom pods. The lovely folks at Marx Foods sent us some samples as part of a cooking contest, and I was excited to make use of them. They have an amazing fragrance and flavor, so much more so when you toast and grind them yourself vs. buying already ground powder.
The mint crystals were also a try-out. They are made from mint and pure cane sugar and have a more subtle flavor rather than an intense menthol-mint flavor. We’ve bought a few things with Marx since entering a few of their contests and I always love that they have something completely new to us that we would have never thought to try.
Now if only this bread and my Valentine weren’t thousands of miles away. Thursday can’t come soon enough!
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