Banoffee and Chocolate Sourdough Babka
Take a perfectly proved bowl of dough, stretch it out, cover it with lashings of Tiptree banoffee spread, sprinkle with chocolate, bring it all together and create this loaf of fabulous!
Baker: Elaine Boddy.
Timing: This recipe is designed to make and prove the dough during the day, the loaf can then be baked that same day or the following day.
Equipment: A 2lb loaf pan (9 x 5 inches [23 x 14 cm]), with a liner or parchment paper, or a Pullman pan, external size 81⁄2 x 5 x 41⁄2 inches (21.5 x 12.5 x 11.5 cm), lined with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with a neutral or flavourless oil (used here minus the lid).
Location: Use a warm place to prove the dough. I use my oven with the pilot light on and the door propped open, which creates an even temperature of around 25°C which is ideal. Alternatively, use a proving box.
Yield: Makes 1 standard loaf.
Step 1: In the morning, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, roughly mix together all the ingredients, except the fillings, until you have a shaggy, rough dough. The dough will be sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean shower cap or your choice of cover and leave the bowl in your chosen warm spot.
This first mix can also be done in a stand mixer, mixing on a low setting for a 4-5 minutes.
Step 2: After an hour, perform a set of pulls and folds, lifting and stretching the dough across the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat this as many times as is necessary until the dough feels less sticky and comes together into a soft ball. This will be a warm, soft dough. Cover the bowl again and place it back in the warmth.
Step 3: After half an hour, perform another set of pulls and folds, repeating the same actions again; the dough should be nice and stretchy and bouncy, and it should come together into a smooth, soft ball.
Step 4: Place the covered bowl back in the warmth for the next 3 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Step 5: Once the dough has grown to double in size, with a smooth-ish surface, place it in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes to stop it growing any more and to firm up the dough and make it easier to handle.
Step 6: Sprinkle flour over your kitchen counter and lay the pan liner open alongside the dough. Using a bowl scraper or your hands, gently ease the risen dough from the bowl onto the counter. Use your fingertips to start stretching and pushing out the dough, until it becomes a 20 x 40cm rectangle with an even thickness all over. The dough will want to pull back as you stretch it; continue to pull it gently, being careful not to make holes in the dough.
Step 7: Spread the banoffee spread all over the dough, then evenly sprinkle over the chocolate. Roll up the dough from one of the shorter edges toward the other to make an even roll of dough. Once rolled, use a dough knife or sharp knife to cut the sausage lengthwise down the middle into two equal pieces. Twist the two pieces together, then lift the whole dough onto your paper liner and use the paper to lift it into your pan. Cover the pan again.
Step 8: Allow the dough to prove again, letting it grow level with the edge of the pan. This may take 2 to 4 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. I prefer to do this step on my counter, however, if you would like to speed this up, place the tin with the braided dough back into your warm location for 1 to 2 hours. Once the dough grows to the edge of the pan, bake it.
Or, place the covered pan in your fridge to prove again and bake it the next day whenever you’re ready, you can leave it for as long as you’d like.
Step 9: When you are ready to bake, decide whether you would like to bake in a preheated oven or from a cold start. If preheating, set the oven to 200°C fan or 220°C non fan.
Step 10: If you preheated the oven, bake it uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes. If you are using a cold start, place the uncovered pan of dough in the oven, set the temperature as above and set a timer for 45 to 50 minutes.
NOTE: if you have a same size pan, I highly recommend to place it over the top of the pan full of dough to bake. It will create a lid which will encourage the dough to grow whilst baking, at the same time as protecting the loaf from browning.
Step 8: Remove the loaf from the oven and the pan, remove the paper, tap the base of the loaf and if it sounds hollow, the loaf is baked. If not, return it to the oven, out of the pan, directly onto the oven rack to bake it for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to cool briefly before slicing and tucking in!