Laced with swirls of chocolate in a light, tender brioche dough, this easy chocolate babka recipe will not disappoint. Amazing plain, toasted, or as french toast!
Prep Time: 30minutes
Cook Time: 40minutes
Rise Time 1hour
Total Time: 2hours10minutes
Author: Lori Vaughn
2 1/4tspinstant yeast
~4cupsbread flour *See note
3ozsemi sweet chocolate
dash of salt
For the dough: Add warm milk, yeast, and sugar to a stand mixer with a dough hook. A large bowl will also work if making by hand.
Add 2 cups of flour, eggs, and salt. Let mix well. Then while mixer is running, slowly add the softened butter. Slowly add remaining 2 ½ cups of flour. Depending on your moisture level, it may be slightly more or less flour. Dough should be soft and smooth, but not too sticky.
Let mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, put in oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 ½ hours or put in the fridge to rest overnight.
After the dough has risen, place it in the freezer for a half hour. It will make it easier to work with in assembly.
For the filling: Melt the butter and chocolate together. Then add the remaining filling ingredients and mix until you get a smooth, thick paste. Set aside.
Assembly: Line two 9x5 inch loaf pans with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang over the edge. After dough has risen and chilled, punch down the dough and divide into 2 even sections. Start with one section and roll out on floured surface into a rectangle about 10x12 inches. Fill with the pesto filling, leaving about a half inch on all sides. Using the short end, roll up tightly into a log (think cinnamon roll), but being careful not to squeeze any of the filling out. Gently pinch along the seam to seal. (You can also brush the sealed end with water to help it seal well) Repeat this process with the second ball of dough.
Start with one log and use a sharp knife to cut lengthwise down the entire center. Carefully twist the two ends together. You can do this easily by making an x with the two pieces and then twisting the top, then the bottom. Place in your loaf pans, cover, and let rise until the loaf is just arching over the top of the pan, usually about 1 - 1 ½ hours.
Bake: While babka is rising, preheat oven to 350. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. If your oven browns the tops quickly, you can put a piece of foil on the top about 20 minutes in. It's done when the bottoms are a dark golden brown and layers look fully cooked. When babka is almost done baking, make your syrup by brining the water and sugar to a simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, take it off the heat. Generously lather the tops of the baked babka with the syrup.
Let is cool for about 15 minutes in the loaf pan, then place on cooling rack to finish cooling. It's amazing a little warm! Bread is best kept at room temperature up to 4 days. It also freezes great. Enjoy!
Flour substitution: You can substitute bread flour for all purpose flour. I also loving doing a mix of 1/2 and 1/2 for a tender, yet sturdy loaf.