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Chocolate Babka

A babka that can be prepared the day before that is filled with layers of dark chocolate!
Servings: 2 loaves
Author: Heather Perine

Ingredients

Babka Dough

  • 6 1/3 cups (886 grams) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (158 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) active dry yeast
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk warmed to 105-110oF
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 tablespoons (240 grams) unsalted butter softened

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup (105 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Chocolate Filling

  • 1 cup (173 grams) semisweet chocolate chips or chopped
  • 3/4 cup (173 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (108 grams) confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup (48 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, sugar, and yeast. With mixer on low speed, add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat until mixture comes together, 2 to 3 minutes. (If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.)
  • With mixer on medium speed, add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next. Add salt, beating just until combined, about 3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon [8 grams] at a time.)
  • Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2½ hours. After dough has risen, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Alternatively, the dough can be made one day in advance and the entire rise may take place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • For egg wash: In a small bowl, lightly beat together egg and water.
  • Spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray, and line with parchment paper.
  • Divide dough in half. On a heavily floured surface, roll half of dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Spread with half of Chocolate Filling, leaving a 1-inch border on long sides of dough. Starting at one short side, roll up dough, jelly-roll style, and press edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise. Carefully twist dough pieces around each other, and place in prepared pan, cut sides up. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough. Place prepared pans on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake until a thermometer in center registers 190°F, about 35 minutes more.
  • For simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Pour simple syrup over warm loaves while still in pans. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Notes

  • Measure your flour correctly. You can use my spoon and level method here in this post on how to measure your flour accurately. Or I always recommend using a kitchen scale for best accuracy.
  • Make sure that your yeast is fresh. Check those expiration dates. If you're not sure if your yeast is still alive, then give it a test by placing in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar to see if it bubbles. You can read more about yeast here --> What are the different kinds of yeast?
  • Warm your milk. You want your milk warmed to 105-110°F so that it activates the yeast. Too cold and the yeast won't be activated and start bubbling. If it's too hot, it will kill the yeast. 
Adapted from Bake From Scratch