Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chocolate Espresso Gluten Free Babka

We went to see Jerry Seinfeld on Friday night here in Portland and it was an excellent show, we laughed the entire time, my cheeks and stomach were both sore from the laughing.   It was a little surreal being that close to Jerry Seinfeld having been a fan of his for a long time. I have the entire box set of the tv show and have probably watched the entire series over 10 times.  His new web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is also pretty hilarious.

With the Seinfeld show coming up and my craving for some sort of sweet bread that was not one of the usual suspects (pumpkin, banana, etc) I flashed back to the Dinner Party episode, where Elaine and Jerry were supposed to pick up a chocolate babka and got stuck with a cinnamon babka.

Having never had a babka I didn’t really know what to expect.  And after looking around online there wasn’t much in the way of gluten free babka recipes out there. 
I used my Gluten Free Cake Flour  because I had a batch mixed up.
Mix together:
¾ cup lukewarm water (I make it a little on the hotter side then the cooler)
1 packet of yeast
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
Let it sit until it gets foamy and has that yeasty smell.
In another bowl mix together 2 eggs, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 2 tbsp of melted butter or oil, until well mixed and fluffy.
Add the egg mix to the yeast blend and set aside.
Blend together 2 ¼ c cups gluten free cake flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt.  Add the egg/yeast blend to the flour, it will be very sticky as most gluten free breads are.
Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter and butter/oil it up. Place your sticky dough on the parchment and grease up your hands, press it out until its about ½ inch thick.
Melt 2 tbsp of butter and spread it over the dough. Then sprinkle it with 2 tbsp of espresso powder and top with ½ cup (or a little more) of dark chocolate chips.  Apparently there are a bunch of ways to fold a babka. I went with the easiest, especially with this gluten free dough I didn’t want to make a mess of things.
Fold the babka in thirds lengthwise. Then fold one end in and then the other until its mostly a loaf shape.  This recipe from Brown Eyed Baker gives you a good idea of what you are looking for while folding.  I didn’t do the twist since I didn’t want it to fall apart. Next time I make a babka I think I’ll try it.
Place the babka in the bread pan. It shouldn’t stick  to the sides if it has oil on it but if you are concerned butter or oil the sides of the pan.
Turn the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly cover the babka with a kitchen towel and sit it on top of the stove for 30-45 minutes to give it a chance to proof. Once its puffed up a bit its time to bake.  Brush with an egg wash made with a beaten egg and a little water.
Bake in the 375 degree oven for 15 minutes then turn it down to 350 degrees and bake for another 30. If its browning too much cover it with aluminum foil. My oven runs a little hot, but most of the babka recipes I have seen suggest baking it at 375 the entire time. 
Let it cool, slice and enjoy! 
I should have added more chocolate chips! 

It's not very sweet and would be easy to make with other fillings, sweet or savory. I think it turned out pretty well. Next time I think I might try a savory version, with cheese and herbs. 


  1. I am SO jealous you got to see Seinfeld! What an awesome experience! I have been loving his new web series and can't wait to see what comes out of this Seinfeld reboot. I remember in the Cars episode with Louis CK he mentioned something about no one wanting to see Kramer get old, so I wonder what he has in mind for the show coming back. I also love the babka tie-in. So many food references make me think of Seinfeld: Pez, soup and Chinese food come to mind. I totally forgot about the babka! Hahaha!

    1. It should be interesting to say the least, I am definitely excited to see what comes out of it. To this day I cannot look at a Pez without remembering that episode.