Chocolate & Orange Brownie Babka
15g dry yeast, mixed to a liquid slurry with a little of the flour and milk
500g Pams High Grade Flour
100g Lewis Road Creamery Premium Unsalted Butter
75g Pams White Sugar
zest of one orange
1 Pams Free Range Egg
250ml Lewis Road Creamery Organic Homogenised milk, at 35°C
1 egg Pams Free Range for egg wash
150g water, 75g Pams White Sugar & zest of one orange – boil together to dissolve the sugar, remove from the heat
Brownie Filling Mix
40g Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate, chopped
45g Lewis Road Creamery Premium Unsalted Butter, diced
30g Pams Pure Plain Flour
5g cocoa powder
55g Pams White Sugar
1 small egg Pams Free Range
½ tsp Queen Natural Vanilla Bean Extract with Seeds
Preheat your oven to 190⁰C
Place all dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl and using the dough hook, mix until it is smooth, elastic and well developed, should take approximately 15 minutes.
The dough should not be too soft – it needs to be a little firm so that it holds its shape during the folding, twisting, and shaping stage.
Put it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Make the brownie filling and keep at room temperature.
Tip dough onto the bench, cut it into half and gently deflate by folding it loosely onto itself into a rectangle shape then place both dough pieces on to a flour bench, cover with plastic and leave for another 10 minutes to relax and rest.
Using a rolling pin roll one half into a wide rectangle about 40cm x 25cm, and ½ cm thick. It does not have to be perfect.
Spread half of the chocolate brownie filling all the way to the sides of the dough on the right and left but leave a ½ cm space on the top and bottom edges.
From the top edge, begin rolling up the dough towards you like you would if you were making a Swiss Roll or pinwheel. Make sure it is rolled nice and tight.
When you get near the end, wet the bottom ½ cm of dough with a little water and spread it thinly across your work surface – this will make it easier to adhere to the other side of the roll.
Roll it up and smooth out the edge, then set aside under plastic to rest. Repeat with the other half of the dough, so you now have two pinwheel logs, covered loosely by plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming.
Next, cut each log in half lengthwise, so you are left with four skinny logs that are striped with chocolate.
Now the fun begins! On a baking tray lined with baking paper, with these chocolate stripes facing up so they are visible when the bread is baked, make a plus sign with two of the logs. Loosely weave the other two logs into this plus sign. Then, loosely take both ends of one side of the plus sign and cross them over each other.
Do this to all sides of the plus sign, then do it again, and again, alternating going over and under, until you are left with almost a round, then tuck in the ends underneath the loaf.
Keep it loose enough for the bread to have room to rise in the oven, but not so loose that when you’re done shaping the round there are visible spaces between the strands of dough.
Cover the dough with plastic and let it proof for about 30 minutes. It will not look much larger but should have a “puffy” look to it. Brush it with egg wash and place in your preheated over set at 190⁰C and bake for 35-45 minutes but check on it around the 25-30 minute because it may get dark too quickly. Cover with baking paper for the rest of the baking time.
Remove from the oven when it is golden brown and baked, immediately brush on the sugar glaze whilst hot. Let it cool on a wire rack
Brownie filling mix. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder and place to the side. Place a medium sized saucepan of water onto the stovetop. On a medium heat bring the water to a simmer. In a medium sized bowl, place the butter and chocolate.
Place the bowl over the simmering water and melt. Mix the chocolate mixture until smooth. Remove from the heat.
In an separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy. Add in the vanilla extract and chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Gently fold in the flour mixture until combined and you have a smooth spreadable paste.
Cover with plastic wrap and place aside until needed.