Chocolate Babka


Breads Breakfast & Brunch High Altitude No Seed Oils | Published September 24, 2021 by Mimi Council

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Chocolate Babka is made from a sweet, enriched yeast dough that's similar to brioche dough. It's soft, buttery, and slightly sweet. I fill this with dark chocolate and top it with a donut-like glaze.

If you love sweet breads as much as I do, try some of my other favorite recipes like my Blueberry Babka Coffee Cake, Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls, or Cinnamon Pecan Babka Coffee Cake.

chocolate babka

What is babka?

Babka is a sweet yeast bread, which means that the dough typically contains yeast, sugar, butter, and eggs, along with flour. It is filled with chocolate (or sometimes other flavors like cinnamon, apple, or more) and then it's rolled up, cut down the center to expose the insides, twisted together, and put into a loaf pan. Some babkas are even round, like my Blueberry Babka Coffee Cake.

These simple steps create the amazing swirl of chocolate (or filling) that you see running through the bread. It also makes it amazingly easy to pull apart and enjoy. Babka is Jewish, and it is said that it was originated from leftover scraps of challah bread, hence why it's made with a sweet yeast bread!

Why You'll Love This Recipe

Rich, Decadent Flavor: Chocolate Babka boasts a luscious swirl of rich chocolate filling intertwined with soft, buttery dough, offering a heavenly blend of sweetness and indulgence in every bite.

Beautiful Presentation: With its intricate layers and stunning braided appearance, Chocolate Babka is as visually appealing as it is delicious, making it a perfect centerpiece for any gathering or special occasion. Even though it's so pretty, this recipe is fairly easy to execute!

Eat Anytime: Whether enjoyed as a breakfast treat, an afternoon snack, or a dessert, Chocolate Babka's unique combination of textures and flavors makes it a delight that can be savored at any time of day.

chocolate babka

Ingredients for Chocolate Babka

Organic Dry Active Yeast

Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar

Organic Valley Salted Butter

Organic Valley Grassmilk

Cairnspring Mills Organic All Purpose Flour (use code MIMIORGANIC15 for 15% off your order!)

Frontier Co-Op Fine Sea Salt

Organic Valley Large Eggs

Mama Ganache Organic Dark Chocolate

Florida Crystals Organic Powdered Sugar

Tools Needed

Digital Food Scale

Stand Mixer

Small Pot

USA Pan 1-Pound Loaf Pan

Parchment Paper (get my favorite nontoxic parchment paper and get 10% off with MIMIBAKES)

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Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the yeast, 1/2 teaspoon cane sugar, and warm water. Stir to combine and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbly.

Step 2

In a medium pot over medium heat, add the butter and milk. Stir until completely melted, remove from heat.

Step 3

Add the flour, sugar and salt to the mixing bowl in that order. Add the egg and milk mixture and knead on speed 2 to 4 for 5 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, add cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 3 hours or until doubled in size.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 5

To make the filling: In a small saucepan, add the dark chocolate and butter. Put over medium heat and allow butter and chocolate to melt completely. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar and stir to combine completely. Set aside.

Step 6

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 12 x 9-inches. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate filling. Starting at the shorter side, roll the dough so it is completely rolled into a log. Pinch the dough to seal it and put the seam side down. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough log in half lengthwise to expose the rolled inside. Twist the halves together, leaving the cut side up. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.

Step 7

Bake for 40 or until golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan completely. (If you're baking at high altitude, be sure to check the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for high altitude baking instructions).

Step 8

To make the glaze: In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar and water and whisk together until you have a smooth glaze. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the loaf. Allow to set completely before serving.

chocolate babka

Baker's Tips

  • Make sure your yeast is good. If your yeast doesn't turn bubbly after a few minutes, then it has probably gone bad. Or, you used water that was way too hot and therefore killed the yeast. If your water temperature gets to 120°F, then it can start killing yeast, and water temperature of 140°F or more will kill all the yeast. To give you an idea what this temperature is, your local coffee shop will usually serve you a drink between the temperatures of 140°F and 160°F. So, use that knowledge! If your yeast is bad, then you'll just have to replace it before you make the recipe as there is no point to go on with the recipe if your yeast is bad as the dough won't rise. If you think you killed your yeast, just scrap it and try again with water that isn't as hot.
  • It is super important when making yeast dough that you look for visual cues and not rely on times when the dough is rising. This dough needs to double in size. Whether that takes 1 hour or 3 hours, you shouldn't move on until your dough is doubled in size. I give a time reference so you don't just forget about it, haha. But, be sure to look at the dough before beginning the next step.
  • Use a high quality dark chocolate that is meant for melting. This is not chocolate chips that you'd use for making cookies. My favorite organic dark chocolate can be found here.
  • When you twist the babka together, the tighter your twists, the more swirls of chocolate you'll have. You can twist it less or more depending on personal preference!
  • My favorite loaf pan is by USA Pan and you can find it here. These pans are amazing and allow loafs to come right out without much effort. I'd highly recommend getting one as they are a very inexpensive tool that makes a huge difference.

FAQ's

Can I use unsalted butter?

Yes, just add a pinch of fine sea salt to the recipe.

Can I use milk chocolate?

Yes, if you prefer, you can use milk chocolate for a lighter and creamier flavor.

How do you store babka?

Store in an airtight container.

chocolate babka

Craving More?

chocolate babka

Chocolate Babka

Mimi Council
Light, fluffy, and sweet — this classic brioche dough is filled with a chocolate swirl and and topped with a light covering of glaze. This Chocolate Babka is an indulgent brunch recipe or a delicious end to any meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rising Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine Jewish
Makes 8 servings
Calories 554 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Dough

Filling

Glaze

Instructions
 

  • To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the yeast, ½ teaspoon cane sugar, and warm water. Stir to combine and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbly.
  • In a medium pot over medium heat, add the butter and milk. Stir until completely melted, remove from heat.
  • Add the flour, sugar and salt to the mixing bowl in that order. Add the egg and milk mixture and knead on speed 2 to 4 for 5 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, add cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 3 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • To make the filling: In a small saucepan, add the dark chocolate and butter. Put over medium heat and allow butter and chocolate to melt completely. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar and stir to combine completely. Set aside.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 12 x 9-inches. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate filling.
  • Starting at the shorter side, roll the dough so it is completely rolled into a log. Pinch the dough to seal it and put the seam side down. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough log in half lengthwise to expose the rolled inside. Twist the halves together, leaving the cut side up. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 40 or until golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan completely.
  • To make the glaze: In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar and water and whisk together until you have a smooth glaze. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the loaf. Allow to set completely before serving.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

High Altitude — Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutrition

Calories: 554kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 9gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 405mgPotassium: 266mgFiber: 4gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 431IUVitamin C: 0.003mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 5mg
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