Chocolate Babka

by Victor Martelle
Updated:

Yield: 2 9×5 inch Loaf Pans of Babka

Ingredients

Dough

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 pack active dry yeast (1/4 oz)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 4¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • 10 tbsps room temperature butter
  • extra oil or butter (for oiling bowl and loafs)

Chocolate Filling

  • *any chocolate ganache or chocolate filling will work, including Nutella or another premade one, below is an example
  • 8 tbsps butter 
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or half and half, creamer, etc.)
  • 8 ounces chocolate (chips, bar, etc.)
  • ¾ cup sugar 
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder

Glaze Topping (optional)

  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar

Utensils

  • 2 9×5 inch loaf pans
  • small sauce pan
  • large bowl
  • towel or cling wrap (to cover bowl)
  • mixing utensils
  • rolling pin (optional but preferred)
  • stand mixer with dough hook (optional but preferred)

Let’s Make It!

Dough

  1. In stand mixer, combine flour, sugar and yeast.
  2. Add milk, eggs, salt, and nutmeg. On low, mix for 2 minutes until dough starts forming.
  3. Add a portion of the butter at a time until combined. Continue mixing for 7-8 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl as needed. Finished dough will be sticky, stretchy, and may be moist.
  4. Oil a large bowl and your hands. Make dough into ball and transfer into the bowl then turn over, ensuring both sides are coated with oil. Cover with towel or wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours, preferably 8+ hours.

Chocolate Filling

  1. In saucepan, heat butter and cream on low-medium until butter is melted.
  2. Add chocolate until melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add sugar and cocoa powder, mix.
  4. Let chill until it starts to thicken (1-2 hours. You can also put it in the freezer for several minutes).

Combining Dough and Chocolate Filling

  1. Oil or butter loaf pans. Line loafs with parchment paper (optional).
  2. Add dough ball on a lightly floured area. Roll dough out into a rectangle shape.
  3. Spread filling along dough, leaving ~1/2inch on sides. Ensure layer is not too thick but not too thin.
  4. Gently and carefully roll the dough into a tight cylinder-like shape. Pinch seams to seal.
  5. Cut dough in half length wise.
  6. With cut sides facing up, make an X using both lines of dough. Twist halves over one another by placing one half over the other, repeating.
  7. Cut in half and place both pieces into the loaf pans. Cover and let sit out for 1-2 hours.
  8. Preheat oven at 350 °F.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Top should be golden brown. Alternatively, using a toothpick, insert, and if it inserts with little resistance and comes out clean, it’s likely finished.
  10. Take out of oven and let cool in pan for 30 minutes.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  12. Store covered at room temperature for up to 3-5 days, do not refrigerate. Babka can also be frozen and thawed at room temperature.

Glaze Topping (optional)

  1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepot, boiling for a few minutes.
  2. Let cool and using a brush or paper towel, coat finished babka.

Notes & Alternatives

  • No filling is even required! However, you can also use a white chocolate, candies, fruits, or whatever else to fill the babka.
  • A dusting of powdered sugar onto a finished babka can also give it a nice contrast.

History

  • Babka has origins dating back to the early 19th century. The places specifically were centered around the Jewish communities of eastern Europe, specifically Ukraine and Poland.
  • It wasn’t until the 20th century that more places around the world started adopting it.

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