Chocolate Babka Bread
One thing you should know about me is that I love bread. I love making bread. I love the way my house smells when I bake bread. And most of all, I love eating bread.
A few years ago I decided that I was going to master the art of making bread – because it really is an art! I resolved to make at least one loaf of knead-able bread each week for a year, or until I had mastered the process. I stuck to this resolution for almost 5 months, with the full support of my hungry family, before I finally felt I had achieved my goal.
By then, I had memorized the perfect textures of different bread types, learned how the weather could impact my dough, tested & retested various heating/baking/humidifying techniques with my oven, and added a long list of new breads to my recipe box!
Since then, I seem to gravitate towards new bread recipes. And although I often make tons of different bread types for all kinds of occasions, one of my favorites that I come back to again and again is this Chocolate Babka Bread. Sweet, rich, soft, and chocolately. Oh, so good.
This recipe is perfect as a breakfast bread, dessert bread, a holiday gift, a housewarming present, to wow company when they come over, or just to make on a cool, rainy day to enjoy with a cup of black coffee. Be aware that the loaf will not last long – at least if you make it in my house.
This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light.
This bread starts off, like so many other greats, with a sweet dough that you’ll let rise into a beautiful pillow of promise.
Similarly to a cinnamon roll recipe, you’ll then roll the dough out, sprinkle it with an insane filling mixture, and roll it up.
Finally, you’ll twist the dough, stuff it into a bread pan, sprinkle it with streusel, and bake it to perfection.
Honestly, the hardest part is allowing it to cool!!! I prefer to eat it still warm, though I wouldn’t turn down a piece even if it was a week old and had been run over by a car. Do not judge me. It’s just that good.
A rich and chocolately sweet bread that will have family and friends raving for months! Always a guaranteed crowd pleaser, this bread is very versatile. Make it for breakfast or dessert, give it as a gift, or incorporate it into your holiday food traditions.
- 3/4 c. warm Milk (105° to 110°)
- 2 1/4 tsp dry Yeast
- 1 tsp + 6 tbsp Sugar, divided
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg Yolk, room temperature & lightly beaten
- 1 2/3 c. All-Purpose Flour, divided
- 1 1/4 c. Bread Flour
- 5 tbsp Butter, cut into pieces & softened
- 1/2 c. Sugar
- 3 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa
- 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 4 oz Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- 2 tbsp Powdered Sugar
- 1 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp Butter, slightly softened
- In a mixer bowl, dissolve 1 tsp sugar and yeast in warm milk. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Stir in additional 6 tbsp sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and egg yolk.
- With a hook attachment and your mixer on low, slowly add 1 1/3 c. of all-purpose flour and all of the bread flour. Increase speed to medium and add butter. Continue to "knead" dough with the mixer until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding remaining all-purpose flour 1/3 c. at a time, as needed, to keep hands from sticking. Dough will be very soft.
- Shape dough into a ball and place in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until it has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hrs.
- Punch dough down, cover again, and let rest an additional 5 minutes.
- Use a 9x5" silicone bread loaf pan or line the bottom of a regular 9x5" pan with parchment paper & coat the sides with cooking spray.
- Combine sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Carefully stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Turn dough out on a floured surface and roll into a 16-inch square. Leaving a 1-inch border around the edges, sprinkle the filling evenly on the dough. Do not worry about the chocolate chips being equally distributed - it is almost better if they aren't.
- Starting at one end, carefully but tightly roll the dough into a log, pinching the seams and sealing the end with your fingers.
- Carefully twist the dough about 4 times, as if wringing a towel, and fit it into prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled again, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and flour. Using a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle evenly over dough.
- Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until loaf is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove bread from pan and place it back on the wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice and enjoy.
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