October 13, 2010

Chocolate Babka

Chocolate babka - a delicious, yeast based sweet bread with swirls of cinnamon spiked chocolate. It's VERY good.

Recipe Adapted From: First Look Then Cook
A standing mixer, dough hook attachment and large amounts of patience are required for this recipe.
Ingredients - Dough (11 x 21 cm (4 x 8 inch) loaf)
1 tsp white sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
3/4 cup warm milk - not too hot to drink, otherwise you'll kill the yeast.
6 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
7.5 ounces normal flour (about 1 2/3 cups)
5.85 ounces bread flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
5 tbsp butter, cut into pieces and softened

Ingredients - Filling
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 ounces dark chocolate

Ingredients - Streusel
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp butter, chilled and clopped into pieces

Method - Dough
1. Dissolve the yeast and the 1 tsp of white sugar in warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in vanilla extract, salt, egg yolk and the 6 tbsp sugar using the dough hook attachment on your mixer.

3. Measure or weigh the flours and place them in a single bowl.

4. Add 6 ounces of the combined flours to the milk mixture, and beat with the dough hook until blended.

5. Add 5 tbsp butter, beat until blended.

6. Add the rest of the combined flours to the dough, beating in between additions.

7. Place the dough into a large bowl coated with oil.  Turn the dough over so it is completely oiled.  Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place free from drafts (just on your tabletop should be fine) for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.  To test for doneness, gently press two fingers into the dough.  If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.

While the dough is rising, make the filling and streusel.

8. Punch the dough down, cover again and let it rest for 5 more minutes.

9.  Line a loaf pan (preferably 22cm x 15cm or so) with baking paper.

Method - Filling
1. Using a knife or a food processor (the latter is much easier) finely chop the chocolate.

2. Combine the chopped chocolate with the rest of the ingredients for the filling in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Method - Streusel
1. Place all the ingredients for the streusel in a small bowl.

2. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse meal.

Method - Assembly
1. Place the dough on a generously floured, clean surface.  Roll the dough out to an approximate 40cm (16 inch) square.

Omigosh it't the Speeding Turtle's HANDS!  GAH!

2. Sprinkle the filling over the dough, leaving a 3cm border around the edges.

3. Roll dough up tightly into a cylinder.  Pinch together the ends and the seam to prevent leakage of filling.

4. Holding dough by the ends, twist the dough 4 - 5 times as if wringing out a towel.  Make sure that the whole cylinder is all twisted, not just one part.  If it's not all twisted, it's not all pretty!

5. Fold the dough in half and fit into the prepared loaf pan.

6. Cover and let rise 45 minutes.  While its rising, preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees C).

7. After the 45 minutes has passed, sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the dough.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

9. Cool the babka in the tin for about 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


  1. aimlesswandererOctober 18, 2010

    Wow, looks nice, but a bit complex for me I think!

  2. Lovely subtle tones and differentiation of texture in photograph under instruction #2.

    Different hands!?

  3. ^ ie instruction #2 in the "streusel method"

    Streusel: a German word meaning "something scattered or sprinkled", from the verb streuen - and from it we get the English word "strewn"....

  4. Thank you for the comments, Allie, it is good to know what streusel exactly is.

    Heh, funny you should notice the hands...not as pretty, are they? The usual hands in the photos are my Mum's, but the ones in this post are mine. Mum hijacked the camera while my hands were dirty.