Monday, October 27, 2008

Chocolate Babka

This is no ordinary sweet bread. This stuff has it all! You get crumbs, chocolate, nuts, cinnamon and the complexity of yeast. What more could you ask for? Bake it with the windows cracked and the neighbors will find an excuse to visit.

Babka is another thing that there are a million versions out there for. You know those kinds of things, I'm sure. I adore this recipe. The dough is beautiful and perfectly capable of standing alone! You can omit the chocolate and use brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts in its place and you will still have an equally glorious Babka. It may even be more traditional? Here I am out of my element, so I will leave the subject alone and give you the recipe.

Chocolate Babka


1 ½ cup milk

½ oz (2 pks. dry) yeast

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

6 cups flour

1 tsp salt

14 oz. butter

1 7/8 lbs. finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate

2 ½ Tbls ground cinnamon

Egg Wash

1 egg
1 Tbls heavy cream


1 2/3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/3 cups flour

sift together sugar and flour

6 oz. butter

cut in room temp. butter with a pastry blender or two knives

Warm the milk to 110 degrees. Proof yeast in milk. Mix ¾ cup sugar, 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks.

Add to yeast mixture.

With paddle, combine flour and salt in mixer. Add liquid mixture. Change to dough hook and add 8 oz. butter and work for 10 minutes. Pull off of hook and rise in a buttered bowl until doubled.

Put chocolate, remaining cup of sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl and combine. Cut in remaining butter. Set aside.

Punch dough down. Roll into a long rectangle, approx. 18 x 24. Brush edges with egg wash and distribute chocolate mixture. Roll jellyroll fashion, seam edges with egg wash and twist the dough and arrange it in a Bundt pan. Egg wash the top and sprinkle/press the streusel crumbs on top. I like to compress them a bit before I put them on top so I have BIG crumbs and not just "sand".

Let set 20-30 minutes and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, lower temperature to 325 degrees and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Let the Babka sit for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Now comes the hard part.

Resist the urge to cut for at least another 20 minutes because the chocolate needs a chance to set.



  1. What a beautiful Babka! I must admit that when I first say the words "Chocolate Babka" I remembered an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine wants to take a chocolate babka to a party and is in line at the bakery and a little old woman, who is ahead of her in line, gets the last chocolate babka. Of course, Elaine and Jerry do something completely ridicilous trying to get the chocolate babka from the woman...and hilarity soon broke out afterward! Wow! I sure know how to share, don't I?

    Your Babka looks simply delicious, and once I am back in the kitchen baking once again, I will definately try making it. I bet it wold be fantastic giving as a holiday gift this year too! Thanks for the inspiration Anna!!! Happy baking :)

  2. Tami! - I should have know that you would be a Seinfeld fan! I remember that episode! It was a riot! The top of the Babka will tempt you to cut it off and recreate the "muffin top" episode, but then you would be missing the chocolate!

    I have it upside-down because it looked like a giant mushroom/fungus in pictures :( but the crumbs on top are sooo good. If was much prettier in person/pastry. (OK, I think I'm hungry, I'm getting sillier than usual.)

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. Seinfeld! That was the first think that popped into my head as well.

    I've never baked a babka before - I'm inspired.

  4. Hi Life In Recipes -

    Truly a funny episode, but then they all were!

    It's a keeper once you try it!

  5. Hello from Nouméa
    Hummmm looks delicious