Chocolate Babka

My take on this traditional twist bread would make any Jewish grandmother proud. It's a dessert! It's breakfast! Either way, this rich, buttery loaf is laced with chocolate, cinnamon and streusel. Now, I’m not going to try to sell this to you as an easy recipe. It’s not. It’s time consuming and involves some different shaping methods. But boy is it worth it. Don’t let the long list of ingredients intimidate you, as it is quite simple, just time consuming. Down below is the recipe for the classic chocolate Babka. If this is your first time making Babka, this is the best recipe to begin with. It’s got the basic covered & once you nail this one, you can play around with tons of toppings, fillings & spices! Hope you enjoy it.

You’ll need

FOR THE DOUGH: ½ cup whole milk 1 package active dry yeast ⅓ cup granulated sugar 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract ½ teaspoon cinnamon 4 large eggs 10 tablespoons unsalted butter

FOR THE FUDGE FILLING: ½ cup granulated sugar ¾ cup heavy cream Pinch kosher salt 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate 8 tablespoons/1 stick unsalted butter 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FOR THE CHOCOLATE STREUSEL: ½ cup all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder ½ teaspoon kosher salt 4 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Make dough: Stir together warm milk and 2 teaspoons sugar in bowl of mixer. Sprinkle yeast over mixture and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Add 1/2 cup flour to yeast mixture and beat at medium speed until combined. Add whole eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low, then mix in remaining 2 3/4 cups flour, about 1/2 cup at a time. Increase speed to medium, then beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, and continue to beat until dough is shiny and forms strands from paddle to bowl, about 4 minutes. (Dough will be very soft and sticky.) Scrape dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Assemble filling

Melt the butter & chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Remove & mix together until creamy. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, & salt and mix all together. Set aside until you are ready to spread it onto your dough.

For the streusel filling (optional)

Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Then, add your room tempurature butter, and with your hands begin to mix it until it becomes crumbly. Set aside until ready to be added on top of your babka.

Once your dough is ready to be rolled out, sprinkle flour on a surface and begin rolling out your dough into a thin rectangle shape. Spread your filling all over the dough, leaving the edges clean. Roll your dough fairly tight and place it seam side down. Place it in the freezer for two minutes so it can harden making it easier to cut. Remove the rolled dough from the freezer, using kitchen shears to cut lengthwise down the center. Twist each roll, then braid the two pieces together. Place it in a coated pan (or parchment paper). Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a towel for about 30 minutes to let it rise a bit more. Preheat your oven to 350F and sprinkle your streasul on top of your babka. Bake the babka for about 40 minutes. Once you remove it from the pan, let it cool completely. Serve & enjoy (with a cup of coffee or tea is my preference!) Babkas may be wrapped well and frozen for up to two months!