I just finished mixing dough from four Voilà! Hallah Traditional mixes. Tomorrow is going to be busy, so I decided to prepare the dough and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator. I like working in the quiet of the night. But, just when I began, thunder started roaring outside. The storm was quite angry. I was startled few times by booming thunder and, every time, I prayed the storm will pass us without an electrical outage. At least not until I am done with mixing the dough. So far so good. Other than the faint roll of a sporadic thunder in the distance, it is drizzling quietly outside. I am glad for any bit of rain we get now. The grass is parched; the leaves on the trees are already changing their color. The drought is bringing the bambis to the front yard more than anytime I can recall. I can’t tell who’s been eating the potted tomatoes on the porch. Sometime I suspect the baby deer; other times I blame the chipmunks. It’s disappointed to see the petunias eaten, the tomatoes gone, or some other plant dug out. But I figure we have to share; they must not have much to graze on in the park. Besides, it’s the price of encroaching on their natural habitat. Short of building a high fence around the yard, there is no way to stop them. I guess some may say there is, but it’s not an option in our neck of the woods. Back to Hallah.
I plan to take the dough out of the refrigerator first thing in the morning. I will then let it stand on the counter for a while to warm up. I expect I’d have to gently press it down to inflate, so it won’t bake with large air pockets. I will than divide it into four and make three Hallah loaves and one ‘roses’ round babka.
Last Friday, I baked the ‘roses’ babka in the photo above. I added dark chocolate bits to the preserves and almonds. Follow the directions of baking Hallah mix up to the point of shaping the dough. Stretch the dough into a large rectangle, as you would with pizza dough. Spreading the filling of choice, roll the long side of the dough. Cut the dough cross-wise into 9 equal parts with a sharp knife. Place the piece cut side up in a round pan. Let rise again for 45 minutes, apply egg and follow the baking directions on the box.
Tip: I like to bake eggs that are at room temperature. Cold eggs can stunt the activation of the yeast. Even when I plan ahead, I sometimes forget to take the eggs out of the refrigerator in advance. Problem is solved by placing the eggs for five minutes in a ball with warm tap water.
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