Why I Created This Recipe
Babka has always been my favorite dessert bread. Babka is somewhere between bread, cake and dessert. It is indeed a sweet yeasted dough usually filled with cinnamon sugar or chocolate paste. If you have eaten a babka before, you will know how messy it goes as the fillings fall out easily when slicing and eating it. As much as I love having a deliciously filled babka, one thing that deter me from having it is the mess. Therefore, I thought, “How about I made it into the form of cinnamon rolls?” Thanks to my sudden crazy thought, you all now got to enjoy this beautiful creation – Sourdough Double Chocolate Babka Rolls. These rolls taste as good (if not better) than a babka, minus all the mess and fussiness. So without further ado, I present you the Sourdough Double Chocolate Babka Rolls! 😉
Double the Chocolate, Double the Happiness!
You all know how I feel when it comes to chocolate. The more the better! So apart from using chocolates in the filling, I also added chocolate flavor to the dough itself. Because there is never too much chocolate right? 😏
Similar to my Sourdough Cinnamon Roll recipe, I used Yudane method in the dough of these Sourdough Chocolate Babka rolls to make it extra moist and fluffy. Yudane method is the secret to make a soft and fluffy Japanese style bread. In order to bake using this method, you simply mix an equal portion of flour and boiling water. The effect of adding boiling water to flour is that it gelatinises the starch. The gelatinised starch will allow the starch to absorb more water, and thus enhancing the sweetness of the bread.
Yudane method is in fact similar to the Tangzhong method I used in my sourdough milk bread recipe. Unlike the 1:1 flour-to-water ratio in Yudane method, the Tangzhong mixture is made by heating up a mixture of flour and water in the ratio of 1:5 to 65°C.
In this recipe, I used lievito madre (aka a stiff starter) at 40% hydration I made from my Panettone experiment. You can easily convert your sourdough starter to 40% hydration by feeding your starter in a starter : flour : water = 1 : 1 : 0.4 ratio. The reason why I used a stiff starter is to eliminate the hint of sourness in this bread. Chocolate doesn’t go well with the sourness from 100% hydration sourdough starter unless you add a ton of sugar in the dough.
Ancient Grains In Sweet Dough
For almost every sourdough I bake, I will usually add 10-30% of ancient grains in my recipes. And spelt and kamut are my two favorite grains to use. 🌾 Some people might be reluctant to use whole grain flour in sweet bread, as whole grain bread are usually tough and dry. Fortunately, as I use both Yudane and sourdough in this recipe, making them not only moist and fluffy, but it also with a hint of nuttiness and earthy flavor. The ancient grains provided a more varied and complex flavor profile, hence greatly improved the depth of flavor of these rolls.
You can either enjoy these delicious rolls by itself, drizzle more nut or seed butter on top, or make a french toast sandwich using them. Simply slice the roll in half horizontally like a bagel, dip each half into french toast batter from my Best Vegan French Toast recipe and fry them in vegan butter. Finally, add your choice of filling for your sandwich and congratulations! You just made yourself a fancy and delicious dessert 🥰
Sourdough Double Chocolate Babka Rolls (Vegan)Course: BakeryCuisine: American, JapaneseDifficulty: Medium
These Sourdough Double Chocolate Babka rolls taste as good (if not better) than a babka, minus all the mess and fussiness.
- Stiff Levain (40% hydration)
35g sourdough starter (40% hydration)
60g bread flour
104g bread flour
78g spelt flour
130-140g plant milk
100g stiff levain from above
25g vegan butter
30g vegan butter (unsalted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of sea salt
- Egg Wash
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp water
60g boiling water
60g bread flour
- Build Your Levain
- First build the stiff levain and leave it to rise to peak (tripled in size). Mine take about 4 hours at 28 °C.
- Mix 60g of boiling water with 60g of bread flour and leave it aside until cooled.
- Once the stiff levain has risen to peak. Add the stiff levain to all the ingredients (except butter) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until everything is incorporated and gluten has slightly developed (around 5-6 mins).
- Add butter gradually and slowly. Continue kneading the dough until it reaches the window pane stage (around 10-12 mins).
- Let the dough rise at room temperature for around 3 hours or until it doubles.
- When the dough has almost finished its bulk fermentation, prepare the filling. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until melted. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water underneath. Remove the bowl from the heat, stir in the sugar and your choice of nut or seed butter, then set aside to let it cool a bit before spreading it to your dough.
- Using floured fingertips, flip the dough over, give it a nice pat to degas it a bit. Gently roll into a rectangle (around 16″ x 12″). If you find it hard to roll, let it rest for 5-10 minutes before trying to roll again. Gently spread the filling evenly on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges.
- Again, using floured fingertips, carefully roll the long side of the dough. I find pressing it down while rolling makes it easier. Once you get to the end, roll the dough so that the seam side is facing down.
- Line a baking tray or in this case, I’m using a cast iron pan. Cut the dough into 8 rolls using a dental floss.
- Place the rolls on the pan, cover and let it rise for 3 more hours until almost doubled in size.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water to make the “egg” wash.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. Brush the rolls with “egg” wash. Bake them for around 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.