Food

Chocolate Babka

A lovely loaf with a swirl that's quite simple to achieve... we’ll show you how.

A lovely loaf with a swirl that's quite simple to achieve... we’ll show you how

A lovely loaf swirled with chocolate, hazelnut spread and walnuts is pretty much the perfect coffee pairing. And while that sought-after swirl in a homemade babka seems like it would require the skill of a master bread-maker, it’s actually quite simple to achieve. Watch the video to see just how easy it is to tackle that twist, then check out the recipe for a detailed how-to. 

Chocolate Babka

*Note: This recipe is part of a series of how to make a big batch of bread dough and turn it into three types of bread — get all of the recipes here. 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cold butter cut into cubes
  • ⅓ Big Batch Bread Dough*
  • 6 tbsp chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 1 egg, for egg wash
  • Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preparation

Toss together the walnuts, brown sugar, chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, flour, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the butter until combined; chill the chocolate streusel mixture until ready to use. 

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 15x11-inch rectangle. Spread hazelnut spread over the dough, leaving a ¾-inch border. Sprinkle the chocolate streusel mixture over top. 

Starting from the long end of the rectangle, roll the dough tightly into a log. Pinch and seal the ends. Continue rolling the log until it’s even and measures about 18-inches long. Cut the log in half crosswise. Using a sharp knife, slice both portions of the log in half lengthwise. Join the pieces of dough by pinching the 4 ends together. Twist and braid the pieces under and over, with cut sides facing up, and form into a loaf shape (don’t worry too much about your technique, this loaf is very forgiving).

Transfer the braided dough to a parchment paper-lined 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan. Cover and let the dough rise until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400˚F.

Beat together the egg with 1 tbsp water and brush the loaf with the mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes (if your loaf browns too quickly, reduce the temperature to 350˚F). 

Dust the babka with the icing sugar if desired. Serve warm.

Yield: Makes 8 servings

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