Chocolate Babka Bread

Posted by alannak on Jul 17 2008 | Dessert, Muffins and Cupcakes

For the longest time, chocolate babka was one of those foods for me.

You know those foods. You ate something once, many years ago, and became sick from it. Now, you experience awful nausea every time you see it, smell it, or even think about it.

My parents once brought a loaf of chocolate babka bread on one of our vacations to somewhere in the Bahamas. I was so sick that trip — probably not even from the babka — but for years I couldn’t stand it. I finally overcame my aversion earlier this year, when a chocoholic friend brought down the most amazing loaf from a bakery near his home in Long Island. I once again found this amazing food irresistible.

Our decision to bake a loaf of babka was random. No reason other than that we just felt like eating some. This recipe, adapted from this one on Epicurious, will make your kitchen smell as good as the best bakery in the world, and the bread that it produces is soft, bittersweet, and utterly worth the effort and there is definitely some required). Our best advice for this bread is to be patient, and to perform each step with tender care. Love the loaf, and you’ll be rewarded.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 extra tsp
3 tsp active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened

(filling)
5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (you can use chips or bars)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon

(egg wash)
1 tbsp milk
1 egg yolk

Instructions:
Stir together warm milk and 2 teaspoons sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over mixture and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour and beat using dough hook until combined. Add whole eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until combined. Mix in remaining 2 3/4 cups flour, about 1/2 cup at a time. Then beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, and continue to beat until dough is shiny, soft, and sticky. You can also use a wooden spoon to rapidly mix ingredients together. Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Line each loaf pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper (one horizontal and one vertical). Punch down dough, then divide it in half. Roll out one piece into an 18×10-inch rectangle, with the longer edge nearest you. Beat together yolk and milk. Spread 2 1/2 tbsp spoon softened butter on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Brush some egg wash on the long border. Sprinkle half of chocolate over buttered dough, then sprinkle with half of sugar and cinnamon. Starting with long side farthest from you, roll dough into a snug log, pinching firmly along egg-washed seam to seal. Bring ends of log together to form a ring, pinching to seal. Twist entire ring twice to form a double figure 8 and fit into one of lined loaf pans. Repeat with remaining dough, chill egg wash, and loosely cover pans. Let dough rise an additional 1 to 2 hours, until dough reaches top of loaf pans, then bake in an oven preheated to 350 for about 40 minutes, until tops are a deep golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes in pans, then remove from pans. Serve warm.

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10 comments for now

10 Responses to “Chocolate Babka Bread”

  1. Yummm! I love babka bread but never knew how it was made. Thanks for the delicious photos.

    18 Jul 2008 at 11:41 am

  2. Glad you overcame your aversion! This looks absolutely amazing! Soft bread with the perfect amount of chocolate!

    18 Jul 2008 at 6:50 pm

  3. That looks very good indeed! I’ve seen many recipes for this bread, but have yet to take the plunge :)

    19 Jul 2008 at 9:04 am

  4. this has got to be one of my favorit cakes! i`m loving yeasty cakes of all sorts. the chocolate filling is looking great as well.

    19 Jul 2008 at 12:59 pm

  5. Mike

    Viva One Skinny Mara!

    19 Jul 2008 at 6:22 pm

  6. This looks amazing!

    20 Jul 2008 at 12:07 pm

  7. Looking very tasty !

    23 Jul 2008 at 7:26 am

  8. sara

    THE BAST BABKA IS GREENS CHOCOLATE BABKA
    http://www.greenscakes.com
    AFTER ALL IT IS STILL THE MOST LIKE MY HUNGARIAN GRANDMOTHERS RECEIPE

    18 Nov 2009 at 3:15 pm

  9. Charles D Riggs

    the picture looks like what I had in cinicnnati and can’t get any more. I’m going to try it.

    26 Nov 2009 at 11:29 pm

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