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Chocolate Babka

This Chocolate Babka is visually stunning and is a delicious treat for any meal occasion. Ribbons of creamy, rich chocolate filling swirl through a buttery, soft dough. The loaves can be enjoyed fresh or frozen for up to 3 months.

The details

making the dough

This dough recipe uses instant yeast, but if you don’t have that on hand, you can use active dry yeast. The difference between the two is the activation period and the rising time. Active dry yeast needs both an activation period and about a 15 minute longer rise time than instant yeast.

For active dry yeast, add the yeast, warm milk (warmed to 108-112F) and sugar. Whisk together and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until frothy in appearance. Add the flour, eggs, salt and softened butter. Knead on medium speed for 5 minutes. Do not add the salt directly on top of the yeast as it could deactivate it.

For instant yeast, I like to add yeast, sugar and warm milk, then the remaining ingredients. You don’t need to let the yeast sit in the warm milk. Just add and begin kneading the mixture for 5 minutes.

Once the dough comes together and is done kneading, place in a greased bowl, spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray, then cover with plastic wrap.

first rise

The first rise can be completed in 45 minutes in a warm oven, or if you have extra time, you can let it rise 1 1/2 hours at room temperature. For the 45 minute rise, turn your oven on to 100F, then turn the oven off. Place the covered dough in the warm oven and allow to rise for 45 minutes.

chocolate filling

While the dough rises, you can make the chocolate filling. In a small saucepan, add the heavy cream and butter. Heat over medium heat until butter is melted, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Whisk in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder until smooth and combined. To make the filling ultra creamy, pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

dividing the dough and shaping

This chocolate babka recipe makes 2 loaves. Punch the dough down and divide into two roughly equal pieces. Place one piece back in the bowl and cover until ready to use.

Roll the other piece into a 12×16 inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 the chocolate filling onto the rectangle, leaving a 1 inch border. Starting at the short end, roll into a cylinder. Using a serrated knife, cut the roll in half, vertically. With the cut ends facing up, pinch together the dough at one end, then tuck the end underneath. Braid or twist the two pieces together, then pinch the ends together and tuck underneath. Place the dough into a parchment paper lined 9×5 inch loaf pan, then cover with plastic wrap.

Repeat with the second piece of dough.

second rise

For the second rise, you can again use the warm oven trick and place the covered bread in the warm oven for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can allow to rise at room temperature for 1 hour. The dough will not quite double in size but will look considerably puffy.

baking and serving

Bake in a 350F preheated oven for 35 minutes. The top will be golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.

Right after the chocolate babka is removed from the oven, heat 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Brush the syrup mixture over the warm bread. This gives the bread a nice shiny appearance. Allow the loaves to cool 30 minutes in the loaf pan.

Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!

If you make this Chocolate Babka, let me know what you thought below in the ratings and comments. Also, make sure you find me on instagram and youtube for the full baking video and for more fun behind the scenes.

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Chocolate Babka


  • Author: Jolene
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x

Description

This Chocolate Babka is visually stunning and is a delicious treat for any meal occasion. Ribbons of creamy, rich chocolate filling swirl through a buttery, soft dough. The loaves can be enjoyed fresh or frozen for up to 3 months.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Chocolate Filling

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 0.25 ounce packet)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 110F
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Syrup

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

1. Make the chocolate filling. In a small saucepan, add the heavy cream and butter. Heat over medium heat until butter is melted, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Whisk in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder until smooth and combined. To make the filling ultra creamy, pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, or a large bowl, add the yeast, sugar, warm milk, flour, eggs, salt and softened butter. Knead for 5 minutes on medium speed, or 10 minutes by hand.

3. Place dough in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 ½ hours at room temperature. Alternatively, you can allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes in a warm oven.

4. Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans and line with parchment paper.

5. Punch dough down and divide into 2 roughly equal pieces. Keep one piece covered in bowl, while you roll the other piece into a 12×16 inch rectangle. Spread half of the chocolate filling over the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border.

6. Starting at the short end, roll the dough up into a cylinder. Using a serrated knife, cut the cylinder in half, vertically. With the cut sides facing up, place the pieces beside each other. Press the edges together at one end to seal. Twist the pieces together, cut sides facing up and tucking the ends underneath the loaf. Gently place in prepared loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap.

7. Repeat with remaining piece of dough and cover with plastic wrap.

8. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hour. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 100F. Once the oven reaches this temperature, turn the oven off and place the covered pans in the warm oven. Allow to rise in warm oven for 30 minutes.

9. Preheat oven to 350F. (make sure the bread is not in the oven if you used the oven to rise the dough)

10. Bake the loaves for 35 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the syrup

1. Heat water in a small saucepan over medium heat, bringing to a simmer. Add sugar and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

2. Allow loaves to cool 30 minutes in pan. Brush loaves with syrup after removing from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 125
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Eastern European

Keywords: Chocolate Babka

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