- for the dough
- All-purpose flour 4 cups
- Sugar 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp • 470 kcal
- Salt 1 1/2 tsp • 1 kcal
- whole milk, warmed 1 cup
- Dry active yeast 1 packet
- Large egg 1
- large egg yolk 1
- butter, cubed 1 stick + 2 tbsp
- for the filling
- milk chocolate, finely chopped 9 ounces
- bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 3 ounces
- unsalted butter, cubed 1 1/2 sticks
- finely ground chocolate wafer cookies 1 1/2 cups
- Honey 3 tbsp
- for the glaze
- bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 12 ounces
- milk chocolate, finely chopped 4 ounces
- unsalted butter, cubed 1 1/2 sticks
- light corn syrup 2 tbsp
If you love brioche and chocolate (and who doesn't?) get ready to fall in love with chocolate babka. This decadent bread is a little like brioche, a little like cake, with a soft, tender texture, and is sweet and buttery, with an intense chocolate flavor. Making babka at home is easy. You'll need pantry staples like flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and yeast, plus plenty of chocolate. Enjoy babka as a sweet breakfast treat or tuck into a slice with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. It's the ultimate coffee cake!
What is Babka?
Babka is a popular sweet Eastern European Jewish bread that's similar to brioche. It usually has a decadent chocolate filling. Also known as krantz cake, babka's texture is in between bread and cake, and it's a wonderful recipe to make when you're in the mood to bake something cozy, delicious, and rich.
Successful Tips for making the Best Chocolate Babka
– Use room-temperature ingredients when making chocolate babka. The ingredients will blend more easily.
– Warmed milk will help activate the yeast, but make sure it isn't too hot otherwise, the heat will kill off the yeast.
– Leave about ½ inch of space at the edge when you're spreading the filling in the dough.
– You can add other flavorings to your babka like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, or orange essence.
– While chocolate babka is the most famous, the apple babka is the perfect alternative to enjoy during fall season. There are also some mouthwatering savory babka recipes you can try. It's excellent with ingredients like pesto, ricotta cheese, leeks, goat's cheese, and fresh herbs.
– To make mini babkas, after rolling the dough, cut it into thin strips, then layer and twist the dough to form knots. Bake mini babkas for about 20 to 25 minutes.
How to Serve Chocolate Babka
Enjoy your homemade chocolate babka warm or at room temperature. For an extra treat, serve it with some ice cream or whipped cream, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. Leftovers can be made into French toast – if you have any leftovers, that is!
How to Store Chocolate Babka
Wrap leftover babka in cling wrap and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days. It can be wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months for long-term storage.
How to Make Chocolate Babka
For the dough
Stir flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Combine milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes until foamy. Pour the egg, egg yolk, and flour mixture. Beat on low for 2 minutes. Scrape down the dough then set the mixer to medium and beat for another 5 minutes.
Once the dough is smooth, add in the butter and beat on low for 3 minutes. Cover and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
Grease a baking tray with cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the tray, cut it half, and shape it into a square. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
For the filling
Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave, then stir until smooth. Let the ganache cool, then mix in the cookie crumbs and honey. Set ½ cup of filling off to the side.
Grease 2 bread pans with cooking spray. Line them with parchment paper with enough so that there is some overhang. Roll each dough half into a square. Spread the filling over each square.
Roll each dough into a jelly roll-style log.
Cut the dough in half. Spread the ¼ cup of remaining filling over the top and sides of 2 of the halves.
Place the other halves on top to form a cross shape. Form spirals and place the dough in the bread pans. Cover with a damp cloth and let them double in size.
Preheat your oven to 375F. Bake the bread for 45 minutes then remove it from the oven and leave to cool slightly before taking the babkas out of the pans.
For the glaze
Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Whisk in the corn syrup. Brush the glaze over the babkas while they're still warm, then leave it to set for about 30 minutes. Cut and serve.
If it's cold when you're making your babka, turn on your oven light (but leave the oven off), and put it in there to proof).