Ah - the chocolate babka! Better than the cinnamon babka (any Seinfeld fans here?). Anyway, this chocolate babka is absolutely DELICIOUS. The dough is a sweet brioche dough, all lathered up with a chocolate filling. I can eat an entire loaf in one sitting.
What is a chocolate babka?
Well, a babka is a sweet, braided bread/cake hybrid that typically has a sweet filling. It has Jewish roots, although Seinfeld made this dessert popular among its non-Jewish viewers.
Fillings can range from a sweet fruit filling, chocolate filling, nut seed filling, etc. The options are truly endless, but I love chocolate so of course that is what I chose.
For the dough
- All purpose flour is the flour of choice in this recipe, it provides the perfect crumb
- Granulated sugar is needed to sweeten up the brioche dough. A babka is a sweet bread so we need some sugar in the dough
- Instant yeast is of course needed to help the dough rise. Make sure you are using instant yeast, not active!
- Eggs are necessary in a brioche dough. Brioche dough is considered to be a "rich" dough that is cake-like
- Whole milk is added because this dough needs moisture and fat. The dough will be sticky but also smooth and stretchy
- Salt for flavor
- Nutmeg for more flavor
- Unsalted butter is the fat that is needed in a brioche dough. As mentioned earlier, brioche dough is a rich dough, so it needs to have a high fat and protein content which we get from the butter, milk and eggs
For the filling
- Unsalted butter is used to thicken up the filling and make it smooth and delicious
- Heavy cream same as above!
- Semi-sweet chocolate is the chocolate of choice for me in this babka, but dark chocolate works too!
- Powdered sugar is used to sweeten up the filling
- Cocoa powder adds just a touch more chocolate flavor to the filling
Other recipes you may like
I hope you guys love this chocolate babka! Another yeast dough recipe you may like are my Nutella Donuts.
- 2 ½ cups (313 grams) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 standard instant yeast packet MUST be instant
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ½ cup (120 mL) whole milk room temperature
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 5 tbsp (71 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 egg lightly beaten, for brushing
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter does not need to be room temperature
- ¼ cup (60 mL) heavy cream does not need to be room temperature
- ⅔ cup (4 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup (40 grams) powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder regular, not dutch-processed
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar and yeast. Add the eggs, milk, salt and nutmeg. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low-medium speed until a dough forms, 1-2 minutes.
- On medium speed, add the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon, waiting until each tablespoon is incorporated before adding another one. Once all the butter is added and combined, bump up the speed to medium-high and knead for 10 minutes. The dough will be sticky but smooth and stretchy. It should be slightly sticking to the bottom of the bowl, but not the sides.
- Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for about 3 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size (as shown below). Because this dough has more fat, it will take longer to rise than other yeast doughs.
- Once the dough has about 30 minutes left to rise, make the filling. Combine the butter and heavy cream in a sauce pan over the stove on medium heat. Stir until the butter has completely melted and the mixture is simmering.
- Once simmering, add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and combined, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour the filling into a wide and shallow bowl (this will help the filling cool more evenly and faster) and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
Rolling out the dough
- Prepare a 9x5 inch loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12x16 inch rectangle.
- Once the filling has chilled to a paste-like consistency, spread it onto the rolled out dough into an even layer, leaving a 1 inch margin on the sides.
- Starting on the short side, tightly roll up the dough into a log.
- Then, cut the dough in half length wise.
- Cut sides up, place both halves into the prepared loaf pan and begin weaving the two pieces together (over under, over under). Cover and let rise for an additional 30-40 minutes until it is puffy.
- When the dough has 10 minutes left to rise in the pan, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly beat an egg and brush the dough with the egg wash. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out with no resistance. Let cool in the pan, slice, and enjoy!
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!