Saturday, January 30, 2016

Self Imposed Rules

Under normal circumstances, after a post like the one from a  few weeks ago, where I mentioned a long list of dishes I would like to inventory, you'd expect to see a sequential (or if we were quirky, random-ish) post about items listed here.
But, I live to prove exception is the norm. So, I made Deb's Babka.

It took me a little more than a week of thought--> execution to make two beautiful babka loaves. Here is a retrospective of the week with reference to this Babka.

On Monday, after an exceptionally long day (and weekend) at work, I thought about  this recipe, realised butter that is supposed to be at room temperature is still in the freezer and decided execution would have to wait another day.

On Tuesday, I read up the recipe and realised  a stand mixer comes into play. I don't have one. So I combed through comments to find out if anyone had documented their trials and tribulations mixing the dough by hand- and I found Vera's detailed instructions. That was as far as I got.

On Wednesday I got cold feet because the recipe required the dough to rise in the fridge, but I wanted it right now and I did NOTHING. Actually, I take that back, I told K about my dilemma and there is something about talking about what you'd like you to do, that makes you do it.

So finally, on Thursday I used my arm muscles to get the dough ready. It took about 30 minutes to get my dough and clean-up and put things back. I also had to google how to get eggs to room temperature in a hurry as I had forgotten about the eggs completely.

To preempt the guilt associated with eating something that calls out for a full cup of butter, I got through 26 minutes of a forty five minute HIIT workout before giving up like a street rat. I am still in pain

On Friday, I finished the recipe after fretting over how to roll a babka, how to braid it and how to create room in my freezer to ensure I can chill it for 15 minutes before braiding the babka since it wasn't cold enough for me to leave it in the garage for 15 minutes.
Yes, we have had days where it was -10F outside and 24F in the garage. We checked after a trip to the garage to put stuff in recycling bins had us turn blue.

I am happy to report, the end result is fabulous.

Under normal circumstances, one would stop talking about the process here, but in the interest of full disclosure and just so I don't forget about the cleanup time required on day 2, I would like to document all the stuff that needed cleaning after baking the babka.
  • One mug where yeast was proofed
  • One mixing bowl where the yeast dough rose
  • One microwave safe mixing bowl where the chocolate sauce was made
  • Kitchen island counter cleaned twice (before and after for rolling the dough and shaping the bread)
  • Cookie sheet which was floured but could not be used in the freezer as it was too big for the freezer
  • A large plate used to chill the dough
  • Pastry cutter used to segment the dough
  • Spatula and spoon used to spread the chocolate sauce
  • A bread pan and a baking dish where the two babka loaves were baked
  • A saucepan and spoon to make syrup and glaze the babkas
  • Two measuring cups
  • Two chopping boards where butter and chocolate were chopped on two different days
Special Note:  I did not clean most of it- K did. He is awesome and I married well, I know :-)

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