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Published: Tuesday, 3/30/2004

Sweet Babka with Chocolate Swirl

For the dough:

1 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 cups bread flour

1/3 cup nonfat dry milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons SAF yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

For the chocolate spice swirl:

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch- process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Melted butter

Confectioners' sugar for dusting, optional

Cook's note: SAF yeast (fast-acting) is a popular yeast among bread machine bakers. It is a different strain of yeast than domestic brands; it is dried to a very low percentage of moisture and coated with ascorbic acid and a form of sugar, which enables it to activate immediately on contact with a warm liquid. It needs no initial dissolving in liquid.

Place all dough ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer's instructions. Program for Dough cycle; press Start. The dough ball will be soft.

Grease two 7-by-3-inch loaf pans. Combine the dry ingredients for the swirl filling in a small bowl.

When the machine beeps at the end of the cycle, press Stop and unplug machine. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half. Pat each piece into a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. Brush each lightly with some melted butter. Sprinkle each with half the filling, leaving a 1-inch space all the way around. Starting at the short edge, roll up jelly-roll fashion. Tuck the ends under and pinch the bottom seams.

Place the loaves seam side down in the pans. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and the sides have contracted slightly from the pan. Cool on a rack and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Yield: 2 loaves

Source:The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger

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