Chocolate Babka

Serve a slice of Chocolate Babka

Curious? This is worth the effort

I’ve never tasted Chocolate Babka or made babka, so I took on a bit of a project for a holiday assignment for SheKnows.com. Like many people I know, my only brush with babka is the Seinfeld episode where Elaine and Jerry stop to buy a chocolate babka to take to a friend’s house. Maybe that’s all you need to intrigue you. If you’re curious, this is definitely a recipe to try – it’s so worth it!

Set aside some time

I inherited some baking genes (my dad was an excellent baker), and I was excited and anxious to make this treat. I discovered that it’s actually fairly easy to make, if you have the luxury of time.

It takes a little time to prep everything, and you need to let the dough rise — two different times — for about an hour each time. Then plan for about 30 minutes for baking. But the final step is allowing the bread to cool before slicing it into crumbly goodness. Waiting can be torture when you can smell this delightful golden loaf filled with chunks of chocolate and bits of walnuts, all wrapped around a sweet dough. That, my friends, is when time seems to drag.

This sweet bread is amazing, but I can see why it’s reserved for the holidays. I’m sure most families have their own special recipe, but since I don’t, I adapted this from Ladies Home Journal. What a special treat!

 

Recipe for Chocolate Babka
Yields 1 loaf

Adapted from Ladies Home Journal

As Easy as Pie: Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

One of my favorite things to bake is Rosemary Olive Oil Bread. I’ve been making it for a while and it never fails, and I mean never! It’s perfect because it has just enough sweetness to it, but it’s not over-the-top.

Bread as Easy as Pie

Sometimes people (like me) get intimidated when they see a bread recipe, but this one will be great for your confidence level – it’s so easy to make and turns out just right, every time. My dad was a baker and made lots of dessert rolls like sticky buns and doughnuts and other pastries, along with loaves and rolls of Italian bread every week. I would classify Rosemary Olive Oil Bread somewhere in between the pastries and the bread loaves. It’s a little sweet, a little crusty on the outside but still soft within, and the nuts give it some added texture. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs and I use it in just about everything I cook (or so it seems). I don’t really get to use it a lot for baking, but whenever I find an opportunity, I take it! The olive oil helps keep the bread soft and moist and the lemon gives it just the right flavor.

I’ve never baked a bad batch of this bread, and have since moved on to baking bread that’s a little more complicated (closer to what dad made, but still far from being perfected).

Delicious No Matter How You Slice It

Is it dessert? Is it a hearty bread? It’s definitely closer to a dessert bread,  but I like to eat it in the morning with a little cream cheese spread on top. Adding the cream cheese makes it a bit more decadent, if you’re into that sort of thing, which I am!

Recipe for Rosemary Olive Oil Bread:

Makes 1 loaf