Poolish & Y W Chocolate Walnut Easter Babka with Streusel & Snockered Fruits
The past 2 years we have been making an Easter Babka and this year the GMA’s decided to make it their Easter Bake (along with Hot Cross Buns), so naturally, we had to join them for the Babka Rhamma Dhamma. Ca't wat to see their Easter Babka Bakes!
This year we decided to do the traditional 2 sided roll up and then do a Twisted Sisters twist of the double roll. We made the dough without the pumpkin pie spices to try to get a more chocolate flavor coming through and now consider the spices ‘optional’.
Once again we used our trusty Bundt pan to contain things and give the top a decorative look. We increased the size of the bake to fill the Bundt pan up to maximum capacity, and a little more, since this Polish and Russian inspired babka is so tasty and goes so fast.
Like last year, we used walnuts, cocoa, chocolate chips and bourbon snockered fruits for the filling, dropped the pie spices but added brown sugar to this year’s roll up and add in goodies. We did increase all of them to account for the larger babka. We kept the streusel topping on the top and bottom of the loaf for the nice crunch and we kept the vanilla, powdered sugar milk glaze for the top. This year we added a dusting of powdered sugar too.
This year, instead of just yeast water making the dough rise, we added in a large poolish too. Each was brought to peak, fed again and then refrigerated for 2 days. We let the levains double on the counter after removing them from the fridge - about 4 hours.
We re-hydrated non fat dry milk powder for the dough liquid and used it to autolyse the dough dry ingredients for an hour. After mixing in the levains with a spoon we did 10 minutes of slap and folds to get the gluten developed, before allowing the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
We did 2 sets of S&F’s, on 30 minute intervals, to develop the dough further. After another 15 minute rest we rolled out the dough a little less than ½” thick and into a huge rectangle 24” x 36”. Half the butter in the formula is in the dough and the other half is softened and schmeared onto the rolled out dough before the rest of the fillings go in. After sprinkling on the fillings in an even layer, then roll it up, from each wide side, meeting in the middle.
The starting in the middle, twist the roll toward each end to get the Twisted Sister part of the design. The roll will get longer but no worries, you need the length to get around the Bundt pan twice. Spray the pan liberally so nothing will stick, place half the streusel in the bottom of the pan and then coil in the Twisted Sister going around twice and ending where you began to ensure that the babka stays level as it rises.
Sprinkle the top with the rest of the streusel cover with oiled plastic and allow to proof on the counter for 1 hour before refrigerating overnight. In the morning allow the babka to come to room temperature and finish proofing 1” above the rim of the pan. Fire up the oven to 350 F convection and bake until golden brown and the inside temperature reaches 205 F - about 55 minutes. Rotate the pan every 10 minutes to ensure even browning.
Remove pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before un-molding. I run a paring knife around the outside and inside to make sure the babka comes away clean. After 5 more minutes of cooling drizzle the vanilla glaze over the top and dust with powdered sugar. Eat at least one slice while still warm otherwise warm up I the micro wave before serving.
This is a real Easter treat! We love this for breakfast, brunch or dinner desert! Nothing is overpowering or too sweet and the lack of PP spices really let the chocolate and walnuts shine through.
Happy Easter !
Poolish & YW Levain
Pinch of AD Yeast
Flour is split between the two levains
Poolish & YW Levain
Levain % of Total
W W Pastry Flour
Rehydrated Non Fat Milk
Milk and Water
T. Dough Hydration
Whole Grain %
Hydration w/ Adds
Add - Ins
Butter 50 + 50
Brown Sugar 40 Cocoa 20
Walnuts 70, Chocolate Chips 130
Re-hydrated Snockered Fruits
Egg (2 medium)
Total Add ins
1 tsp each Cinnamon and Nutmeg
1/2 tsp each Ginger, Allspice
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/8 C each of Walnut Maple Granola, APF flour
Sugar and Butter cut in with PP Spices.