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Gluten Free Chocolate Babka

@under_baked

עוגת שמרים שוקולד ללא גלוטן. אני אתחיל מזה שאגיד שמכל הניסיונות שלי, העוגה הזאת שומרת על רכות מסוימת גם כמה ימים אחרי האפיה. ספציפית כאן היא הייתה בטמפרטורת החדר, ו*לא* הספגתי אותה בסירופ סוכר (!). כמו כל מאפה שמרים שמאבד מהטריות שלו בגלל רטרוגרדציה, צריך לחמם כמה שניות במיקרוגל והוא חוזר להיות רך. מכל העוגות שמרים לל״ג שהכנתי עד היום, זאת הייתה המוצלחת ביותר בפער. הכנתי שני סוגים של מליות שוקולד ככה שתוכלו לבחור מה שבא לכם לנסות. בכל מקרה, יש המון דגשים ודברים שצריך לשים לב אליהם כשמכינים אותה, אז מי שמתעניין- המתכון המלא עם כל הטיפים וההסברים, נמצא אצלי באתר, כי כצפוי הוא ארוך מאוד. מקווה שתאהבו! ❤️ #baking #bakingtiktok #baketok #אפיה #dough #ללאגלוטן #glutenfree #מתכון

♬ 悲しみがとまらない I CAN’T STOP THE LONELINESS – 杏里

Gluten free chocolate babka. After so many trials an error, I think I’ve reached the perfect dough. There are additional explanations on this dough in the learning section, and I highly recommend to read every work on this page in order for you to know what to anticipate and expect from this dough:

  1. After the standing mixer kneading is done, the dough will be very sticky and unworkable. You have to refrigerate it overnight. The next day, you use the flour mixture leftovers to dust the counter and to knead the dough. It is important to knead the dough well by hand, in order to achieve a smooth texture, and to try your best to ensure the excess flour is well incorporated into the dough.
  2. I included with this recipe two different chocolate fillings. The first one is the simple filling of chocolate-butter ganache, cocoa powder and sugar. The second filling is based on a chocolate pastry cream. As this dough is very soft, it is important to work with a filling that will be creamy, and avoid fillings that are harder to spread, otherwise it will tear the dough.
  3. Braiding the loaf- I admit that in order to braid this dough to its final shape, you need to have a good technique. After rolling the dough into a log, it has to be cut in two, using a very sharp knife. It is also recommended to oil the knife, and clean it every time you cut through the log, and in any case ensure that only the front half of the blade will be the one piercing through. This will promote a cleaner cut. You will note that sometimes the dough may stick to the knife- this is ok and totally expected, as this dough is very hydrated.

    Before cutting the log with the knife, you may want to lightly press with your hands on the log, to ensure all layers will stick to each other, otherwise they will start separate from one another, and it won’t be very nice…

    If you want to play it safe, you may keep the dough shaped as a log (and cut a few slits at the top part of the loaf to allow steam to escape), put it in the pan and bake as it is. You may also cut the log into large rolls using a sharp knife or a dental floss, and arrange them in a pan.

    This cake is no beauty queen (at least until I can come up with a more promising technique), but the texture is by far the best I’ve yet to try. And please avoid trying to freeze the log before cutting and shaping it, as you would normally do with gluten filled babkas, because that’s not going to work. As this dough lacks gluten, the strands will simply break. This can happen even without freezing the dough, but I highlight that after baking the cake will turn out great.

  1. Don’t be tempted to cut into this cake when it comes out of the oven, and not even when its warm. It has to cool down completely at room temperature, for 4 to 5 hours, and only then it may be cut. Unfortunately, since most gluten free pastries are composed of starches, they go through faster setting and re-crystallization process that make the dough gummy, and with unpleasant texture when you eat it.
  2. I admit I’ve tried making this cake with the sugar syrup and without it. I think the syrup does maintain a moister loaf to a certain extent, yet it also makes the loaf feel a little bit wet. So if you’re really interested, you may gently brush some syrup on top of the cake and on the sides, or pour it all over the cake so that it is soaked into it. You are welcome to try and see which method you prefer best.
  3. Storage- wrap well using a plastic wrap, that directly adheres to the cake (if you cut it, make sure it adheres to the exposed part of the cake), and also cover it with some aluminum foil. You may also put it in an airtight container, but its not mandatory. The cake should be able to retain its moisture for longer if stored in this manner. In any case, as with any other yeasted dough pastry- if it gets too hard, warm it for a few seconds in the microwave to restore its soft texture.
  4. Important tip regarding the baking pan you should use- since gluten free yeasted dough cakes lack internal structural support (due to the lack of gluten), if you want your loaf to be tall, you should use taller than usual baking pans. Also, the height of the pre-baked cake should be pretty high so the end result would also be a tall loaf.

I truly believe that this is the closest texture possible to a gluten filled chocolate babka, that I’ve yet to try (and oh boy, I did try many babkas in my testing, and couldn’t let myself share anything until I was confident with the result), and I truly hope you will like it. I’ve also done my very best to describe the process as I experienced it for myself, so I hope you will find this information useful. As always, I’m open for feedback, comments and suggestions for improvements.

First published:

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Gluten Free Chocolate Babka:

Equipment: Loaf pan sized: 20cm (l) x 7cm (h) x 10cm (w), lined with parchment paper.

Recipe: A single loaf

Flour mixture (300g):

IngredientAmount (g)
Potato Starch107g
White Rice Flour94g
Tapioca Flour28g
Green Buckwheat Flour34g
Pea Protein Powder31g
Xanthan Gum6g

Cooked Dough- Yudane (72g):

IngredientAmount (g)
Boiling Water48g
Flour Mixture24g

The Dough (665g):

IngredientAmount (g)
Flour Mixture235g
Psyllium Husk4g
Dry Yeasts7g (2 + 1/8 tsps)
Xanthan Gum6g
Cooked Dough- Yudane72g
White Granulated Sugar34g
Salt1/4 tsp
Eggs (Room temperature)38g
Milk (Room temperature)235g
Softened Unsalted Butter38g

* Note to not discard the remaining egg amount- it will be used to egg wash the loaf.

Filling:

Option 1: Chocolate-Butter Ganache:

IngredientAmount (g / units)
Dark Chocolate (55-60%)105g
Unsalted Butter70g
Powdered Sugar30g
White Granulated Sugar32g
Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder24g
Cinnamon1 tsp
Espresso Powder1/2 tsp
Salt1/4 tsp

Option 2: Chocolate Pastry Cream with Cocoa-Sugar Mixture:

Pastry Cream:

IngredientAmount (g / units)
Milk165g
Eggs35g
White Granulated Sugar35g
Vanilla Extract1 tsp
Cornstarch10g
Cinnamon1 tsp
Espresso Powder1/2 tsp
Salt1/8 tsp
Unsalted Butter50g

Cocoa-Sugar Mixture:

IngredientAmount (g / units)
Brown Sugar (Demerara)40g
Dark Brown Sugar40g
Salt1/4 tsp
Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder10g
Almond Meal14g

Sugar syrup:

IngredientAmount (g / units)
Boiling Water50g
White Granulated Sugar40g

Preparation:

For the dough:

  1. Mixing the flour mixture- mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Part of this mixture will be used to make the yudane (cooked dough), most of it will be used for the actual dough, and the rest of it (about 40g) will be used for dusting the dough and working counter.
  2. Making the yudane- into a separate bowl, add the required amount of flour mixture, specified by the recipe. Boil water, and pour them over the flour mixture. Mix thoroughly until you get a smooth pasty dough. The dough should cool down for a few minutes, so set it to the side while working on the rest of the preparations.
  3. Into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour mixture, yeasts, salt, sugar, psyllium husk, eggs and the cooled yudane.
  4. Start mixing on low speed, and gradually stream in the milk.
  5. Increase the speed to medium, and gradually add the butter.
  6. After all butter was added, keep mixing for 5 minutes. After about 3 minutes, use a silicone spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, including the paddle attachment, to encourage even mixing. The resulting dough will look uniform, but will be very sticky and impossible to work with.
  7. Transfer the dough to a medium sized bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or up to 24 hours, the dough will reach a maximal rising stage from which it can’t further rise).

Filling:

Option 1: Chocolate-Butter Ganache:

  1. Into a bowl, add the chocolate and butter, and microwave to melt them together. Mix to a smooth ganache.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix until you get a mixture in a spreadable consistency. If it hardens, you can microwave it for a few seconds to restore the spreadable consistency.

Option 2: Chocolate Pastry Cream with Cocoa-Sugar Mixture:

Pastry Cream:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 40g of the milk and cornstarch, until smooth and without any lumps. Add the eggs and whisk thoroughly to combine.
  2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, cook the remaining 125g of the milk with the sugar, salt cinnamon and espresso powder, and bring it to a simmer.
  3. Gradually temper the eggs mixture with the hot milk.
  4. Transfer the tempered mixture back into the saucepan, through a strainer to capture any cooked egg bits.
  5. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the cream is thickly bubbling.
  6. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the butter, vanilla extract and chocolate. Whisk well and transfer the cream to a clean bowl.
  7. Attach a plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream and allow it to cool down at room temperature for 1 hour. Then refrigerate for at least 4 hours (the cream can be made one day in advanced).

For the Cocoa-Sugar Mixture: Mix all the ingredients together in a separate bowl, and set to the side until use.

Assembly and baking:

  1. On a floured counter, using the flour mixture leftovers, place the dough. It will be a little bit sticky, but considerably stable. Dust the dough as well and knead it with your hands to get make it smooth. The dough’s consistency will be very nice to work with and roll.
  2. Roll the dough to a large rectangle, sized 40cm (l) x 28cm (w).
  3. Evenly spread the filling all across the dough. Note that if you’re using the second option for filling, after spreading the pastry cream, sprinkle the cocoa-sugar mixture on top. Flatten it lightly with your hands to adhere it to the pastry cream.
  4. Roll the dough into a log from the wide side, all the way up. Cut the edges (as they normally do not contain any filling), and using a very sharp knife, cut the log in half to make two strands. Braid the strands together and put in the prepared pan (please refer to the notes at the beginning of this page, regarding braiding this dough).
  5. Proof for 1h at room temperature, with the cake covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. Towards the end of the proofing time, pre-heat your oven to 175C (fan mode off), placing a baking rack at the lowest level inside the oven.
  6. Brush the loaf with some beaten egg, and bake for 1 hour. After 30 minutes, the cake should be covered with some aluminum foil to avoid overbrowning. If you own a food thermometer, the internal temperature of the dough should reach 95C.
  7. Take the cake out of the oven and immediately unmold it onto a cooling rack. You may brush it with the sugar syrup (or pour it on top of the cake while it is still in the pan- either way it needs to be unmolded as soon as after the sugar syrup is poured). please refer to the notes at the beginning of this page, regarding the use of the sugar syrup.
  8. Allow the cake to cool down on the cooling rack for 4 or 5 hours, until it is completely cold to the touch, and only then it can be cut.
  9. Storage: wrap the loaf well from all sides with plastic wrap, and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. You may also store it in an airtight container, in addition to covering it with the plastic wrap and aluminum foil, but regardless, storage should be done only at room temperature, for 4-5 days. If the texture feels a bit hard, you may warm it in the microwave to restore the soft texture.
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Gluten Free Chocolate Babka עוגת שמרים שוקולד ללא גלוטן

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Gluten Free Chocolate Babka עוגת שמרים שוקולד ללא גלוטן

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