$ $ $ $ $
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45 mins

Soulful Baker
This bread has been inspired by the traditional Jewish loaf, Babka. The beautiful twists and layers of chocolate create such a decorative finish, which is not only a pleasure to look at but it is a joy to eat too. Needless to say, the kids love this bread, as they do anything that contains chocolate spread!

Makes 1 loaf

Posted by Aurum Press Published See Aurum Press's 78 projects » © 2024 Julie Jones / Quarto · Reproduced with permission. · Recipe extracted from Soulful Baker by Julie Jones, published by Jacqui Small, out now.
  • Step 1

    Grease and line the loaf tin (pan) with non-stick baking paper.

  • Step 2

    Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then set aside to cool until tepid. Secure the dough hook to the mixer and place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into the mixing bowl, keeping the yeast apart. Warm the milk and water until lukewarm, adding it to the bowl along with the egg and the melted butter. Leave the machine to mix, then knead the dough for about 8 minutes by which time the dough should be cohesive and smooth. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in a dessertspoon of flour and continue to knead for a few more minutes.

  • Step 3

    Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it, covering the bowl tightly with clingfilm (plastic wrap). Leave the dough to rise and double in size for at least 1½ hours.

  • Step 4

    Roll the dough out into a rectangle measuring about 30 x 45cm (12 x 18 inches), positioning the rectangle so that the longest edge is closest to you. Cover the surface of the dough with a thin layer of chocolate spread. Roll the rectangle fairly tightly into a long cylindrical shape, finishing so that the seam is on the underside.

  • Step 5

    Run a sharp knife or cutting wheel down the middle of the rolled dough, leaving 2cm (¾ inch) intact at one end. Starting at this end, twist the 2 lengths together, placing one under and over the other, exposing the chocolatey layers giving a rope effect. Carefully lift the twisted bread into the lined loaf tin (pan), pushing it together a little if needed. Loosely cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or so until doubled in size.

  • Step 6

    While the loaf is proving make the sugar glaze. Put the water and sugar in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the solution has reduced to a syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  • Step 7

    Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas 6.

  • Step 8

    Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the bread is golden and cooked through. Remove from the tin (pan), place on a wire rack and brush the top with the syrup glaze while still hot. Leave to cool before slicing.

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