Marisa’s 20th of the Month Sourdough Sidetrack: Chocolate Cinnamon Babka

This has nothing to do with roasting. Today I am grateful for exceeded expectations.


January 2013 marks the fourth month that I’ve participated in a bake-along called Sourdough Surprises. The past 3 months’ tasks included English muffins, scones, and cookies. Babka is in a completely different category of complexity (and butter), and of course, I waited until this past Thursday to begin the process for a January 20th deadline. 10:00pm on Thursday to be exact.


By 11:00pm, I was relatively delirious and found this video. Which, clearly, made me determined that I too could pass as a master French baker. If you have a few minutes to spare, please watch both videos and let’s begin a scholarly discussion of the similarities and differences between Richard Bertinet and me. We can start with the obvious: I’m sure no self-respecting French baker uses a Tupperware rolling mat. Noted.

Once the dough was formed into a neat, smooth, ball ragged pile, I let it rise for the prescribed 15 hours, and rise it did. On Friday afternoon, I rolled and egg washed and chocolate-cinnamoned and spiraled and twisted and streuseled and finally, stuck it in the oven. Within minutes, a doughy sweet bread scent filled the house, and I knew the low bar I’d set (that the finished product be edible) would at least be met.

I used this for the sourdough brioche dough. And I turned to the Smitten Kitchen for the creation of the babka itself. This is a rich bread, and thank goodness the guidelines I followed made a lot.

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8 Responses to Marisa’s 20th of the Month Sourdough Sidetrack: Chocolate Cinnamon Babka

  1. Emily says:

    Honestly you looked great!!! I did watch both videos, in fact. I think the movable surface hindered the ‘finesse’, shall we say, to your technique. Your slap was fantastic! That looked yummy!

  2. Shelley C says:

    With results like yours, maybe master French chefs should consider those tupperware mats! Holy moly, that babka looks delicious!! Beautiful crumb, gorgeous swirls – WOW!! Thanks so much for baking along with us again – I always love to see your delicious results!!

  3. Robyn says:

    You seem to be having way more fun then Richard!

  4. I bet if you had shown us your technique further on into the kneading, we would have seen someone just as good as Richard because that looks like the perfect babka!

  5. jojo54 says:

    Thanks for the videos! Your babka looks delicious!

  6. Fantastic job! Your babka looks amazing! Gorgeous swirls and perfect crumb! Thanks for baking with us again this month!

  7. Rebecca says:

    I think you not only met your goal but exceeded it! Looks delicious, my mouth is watering and we just finished our babka…

  8. rcakewalk says:

    Ha! I laugh out loud at your and your French baker comparison… Your bread looks great though, so maybe you are on your way! I’m clicking to watch the videos now.

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