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peanut butter & chocolate babka

recipe by liberty mendez

extract from “from beder’s kitchen” (buy here)

preparation time: 35 minutes,plus 4 hours proving cooking time: 45 minutes makes 2 loaves(serves 16)

Cooking has always brought me joy when life gets difficult. I love the idea of giving people recipes that could brighten their day, and this is one of my favourite things to eat so hopefully you will enjoy it too!

ingredients for the dough

  • 550g strong white flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened and diced

method for the dough

  1. Heat the milk until warm but not hot, then set aside. Put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer that has a dough hook. Add the salt on one side and the yeast with the sugar on the other, as too much exposure to the salt will kill the yeast. Mix each side into the flour with your hands, then mix it all together with the dough hook.
  2. Pour the warm milk into the flour with the mixer running until combined. With the dough hook on a medium speed, gradually add the eggs and mix for 10 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Gradually add the softened butter, one or two cubes at a time, until combined. This will take another 5 to 8 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dough will be very soft.
  3. Transfer the dough into a large bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave for I and a half to 2 hours until doubled in size and well-risen.
  4. Once risen, put the dough in the fridge for 1 hour.

ingredients for the filling

  • 125g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 100g smooth peanut butter
  • 50g unsalted butter, diced
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • A large pinch of flaked sea salt

method for the filling

  1. While the dough is chilling, line the bottom and sides of two 23 by 10cm loaf tins with non-stick baking paper then make the filling. Put all the ingredients into a small saucepan over a low-medium heat, stirring to prevent anything from catching on the bottom until everything has melted together. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool for 30 minutes until almost set.

ingredients to finish

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 50g salted peanuts, roughly chopped

to assemble the babka

  1. Take the dough out of the fridge and split into two equal pieces. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out into a 30 by 40cm rectangle. Spread half of the filling onto it, leaving a lcm border around the edge. Starting from the shorter side, roll the dough up into a tight spiral, placing the join underneath. Using a sharp knife, halve the roll lengthways so you have two long pieces. Cross them over each other repeatedly until you have a braid-like pattern, then place the loaf into one of the prepared tins. Repeat this whole process with the other piece of dough. Cover and set aside to prove for 1 hour until doubled in size.

to bake and finish the babka

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c and bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes until golden. Heat the sugar and water together and simmer for 4 minutes to make a loose syrup. Once out of the oven, brush the babka with the syrup, sprinkle with the peanuts and leave to cool before slicing.

From Beder's Kitchen is a charity cook book containing a collection of recipes and reflections from amazing foodies around the world including head and executive chefs at some of the UK's leading restaurants; MasterChef winners; TV chefs; food bloggers; nutritionists; best-selling authors; a Great British Bake Off winner and mental health advocates.
All proceeds from From Beder’s Kitchen support Beder in its work to raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention. FIND OUT MORE HERE