Chocolate Babka is an Eastern European dessert bread, that is just to die for. It is a little labor intensive, but the result is amazing!
For the Dough:
- 1.25 cups milk
- 2 packets active dry yeast
- 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3.75 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling:
- 8oz. bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 4 mini loaf pans or 2 8×4 loaf pans. You’ll want to butter the pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Step 1. Warm the milk to about 110 degrees, pour into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk in the yeast. Whisk in the butter, sugar, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla. Then with a spatula, stir in 1/2 the flour.
Step 2. Beat dough on mixer with the paddle attachment. Continue adding the rest of the flour. Beat the dough for another 2 minutes, let rest for 10, then beat for another 2.
Step 3. Scrape the dough into a buttered bowl, turn it so the top is buttered as well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1.5 hours.
Step 4. While the dough is chilling, make the filling. In a food processor with a metal blade, combine chocolate, cinnamon, sugar and cocoa and pulse to grind finely. Set aside.
Step 5. Scrape dough onto a floured surface and roll out the dough to about 10 inches wide by 16inches long. Cut into 2 or 4 equal parts. Press part out until it’s about 1/2 an inch thick. Then cover one side with the filling and scatter the nuts on top. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll. Repeat for all pieces. I chose to make 4 mini loaves instead of 2 larger loaves.
Step 6. Invert the dough into the pan, seaside down. Repeat for all loaves. Cover with a towel and let rise for another 1-2 hours. Until they have doubled in size.
Step 7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 8. Bake loaves until golden brown and well-risen. About 45 minutes. Cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes then unfold to prevent collapsing.
Babka is seriously my favorite dessert bread. What’s yours?