This chocolate babka will make you swoon! Soft brioche bread ribboned with rich dark chocolate, and topped with a crumbly chocolate streusel.
I am so excited to be bringing you this recipe today!
I’ve had it in the works for some time, and I just couldn’t wait to tackle it.
Isn’t it so pretty? I just love how the soft, stretchy bread swirls and loops around all that luscious chocolate!
My yeast bread archive is filling out nicely! I’m beginning to feel much more confident as a bread baker, now that I have developed so many fabulous bread recipes.
Be sure to check out my favorite white bread recipe, my soft Italian breadsticks, and my crusty French baguette recipe. These are all reader favorites, with rave reviews!
But today we are taking things in a sweeter direction, with a luxuriously rich bread that’s made even more so by the addition of chocolate!
WHAT IS BABKA?
Babka is a classic bread that derives from Eastern Europe.
It consists of a rich, soft, and moist bread that’s swirled with a sweet filling, such as cinnamon sugar, fruit, or, as you see here, chocolate!
It’s often topped with a crumbly streusel, to give it added texture and sweetness.
You’ll often find babka at a Jewish deli (remember that Seinfeld episode?), but this version is way better, because it’s homemade!
HOW TO MAKE AUTHENTIC CHOCOLATE BABKA
This bread has 3 main components:
- The brioche dough
- A chocolate filling
- The chocolate crumb topping
The dough takes the longest, so let’s start with that!
Brioche is what’s known as an “enriched” dough, which means it has eggs and butter added to it. This makes it so rich and luxurious!
I’ve adapted my homemade brioche hamburger buns recipe to make the dough for this babka.
Start by putting flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, eggs, and egg yolks into a large mixing bowl.
Using the dough hook attachment, mix everything together for a few minutes on low speed.
Once you have a sticky dough, work in the soft butter.
Add the butter a tablespoon at a time, allowing each addition to completely incorporate before adding the next.
Once all the butter has gone in, knead the dough on low speed for a full 10 minutes, then turn the mixer up to medium and give it another 15.
This dough needs a lot of kneading! It helps to make the dough easier to work with, and it will also develop the glutens so that the babka has a nice texture.
Next just cover the bowl and allow the dough to chill in the refrigerator. It needs at least 6 hours, but I find it much easier to just leave it in overnight and finish things up the next day.
The filling for this babka is as simple as melting chocolate, butter, and sugar together and whisking until smooth.
You can do this in the microwave or over a double boiler.
I would not recommend using chocolate chips, unless you can get your hands on a premium-quality brand. Most chips contain stabilizers that will prevent them from melting smoothly. Baking bars will work much better. Just give them a rough chop.
Once your filling is made and your dough has chilled, roll it out to a large, thin rectangle and spread the filling all over in an even layer.
Then just roll it up into a log, just like if you were making cinnamon rolls.
Starting near the top, slice through the log vertically, creating two separate halves.
Twist the two halves around one another and pinch them together at the bottom.
Then just transfer that to a standard-sized loaf pan, cover it loosely with a sheet of greased plastic wrap, and allow the babka to rise in a warm place for 4 to 5 hours.
CHOCOLATE CRUMB TOPPING
For the chocolate streusel, melt butter then add in flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
You can use regular or Dutched cocoa powder for this. Whichever you prefer!
Just toss everything together with a fork until crumbly, then sprinkle it all over the top of the babka, just before baking.
You’ll know your chocolate babka is done when it’s a deep brown color and it feels really crusty on top.
Allow it to cool completely in the pan, then remove it, dust it with powdered sugar, and slice.
HOW TO SERVE CHOCOLATE BABKA
Chocolate babka is perfect any time of day.
I love it for breakfast or brunch, or for a nice afternoon pick-me-up, along with a cup of coffee or tea.
And it’s great for dessert as well!
CAN THIS BE MADE AHEAD?
You will want to allow yourself plenty of time to make this chocolate babka! It needs several hours to chill and rise, and it takes a while to cool down after it’s been baked too.
I think it’s best to start the recipe at least a day before you plan to serve it. Maybe even two days!
It will last at room temperature for 5 to 7 days. Just keep it tightly wrapped so that it doesn’t become stale or dried out.
If you still have leftovers hanging around after a week or so, pop them into the fridge and they’ll keep for several more days there.
CAN YOU FREEZE IT?
Yeast breads like this one freeze beautifully. Just wrap this babka up tightly in plastic wrap and slip it into a freezer bag. It will last in the freezer for around 2 months.
Thaw it at room temperature and it will taste fresh as the day it was made!
A few more of my favorite sweet bread recipes:
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Iced Lemon Loaf
- Homemade Cinnamon Bread
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4.75 from 4 votes
1 hr 10 mins
This chocolate babka will make you swoon! Soft brioche bread ribboned with rich dark chocolate, and topped with a crumbly chocolate streusel.
Course:Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Keyword:Babka, Chocolate Babka, chocolate babka recipe
Calories: 519 kcal
For the Brioche Bread Dough
For the Chocolate Filling
For the Chocolate Crumb Topping
US Customary - Metric
To Make the Brioche Bread Dough
Place the flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, eggs, and egg yolk in a large mixing bowl and mix on low speed (with a dough hook attachment) for 6 to 8 minutes, stopping halfway to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.
While continuing to mix, add the butter in one tablespoon at a time, allowing each addition to fully incorporate before adding the next.
Knead the dough for a full 10 minutes on low speed, then turn the mixer up to medium speed and knead for another full 15 minutes.
Chill the dough (covered) in the refrigerator overnight, or for a minumum of 6 hours.
Knead the dough a few times to soften and warm it slightly, then roll it out to a large rectangle with a thickness of about 1/8-inch.
Spread the chocolate filling in an even layer all over the dough.
Starting at one of the shorter sides of the rectangle, roll the dough into a log shape.
Beginning near the top of the log, slice vertically through and then twist the two halves together, pinching back together at the base.
Transfer the unbaked loaf to a lightly greased, standard-sized loaf pan, cover loosely with a sheet of greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise in a warm place for 4 to 5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and sprinkle the bread with chocolate crumb topping.
Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes, or until deeply golden and crusty.
Cool completely in the pan before dusting with powdered sugar and slicing.
To Make the Chocolate Filling
Place the chocolate, butter, and sugar in a medium bowl and melt together, either in the microwave (for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on full power), or over a double boiler, whisking until smooth.
To Make the Chocolate Crumb Topping
Melt the butter in a small pot over low heat.
Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt, tossing together with a fork until crumbly.
*Instant yeast may be substituted. Rise time may need to be reduced by 10 to 15 minutes. You'll know your dough is done rising when it has doubled in volume.
This recipe makes 1 loaf of chocolate babka.
Dough can also be mixed and kneaded by hand, or in a bread machine.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 519Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 20g125%
Vitamin A 852IU17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Babka au Chocolat Brioche.
|1/4||cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)|
|1 1/2||teaspoons salt|
Babka is made of a rich brioche dough, usually with a cinnamon or chocolate filling.
Babka is a sweet, buttery yeast bread. Usually, a babka has swirls of chocolate running throughout but another popular flavor is cinnamon. Those swirls pull apart into delectable, irresistible layers.
What is the Difference Between Babka and Povitica? Babka may be the most well-known, but it is not the only twisted or braided bread from Eastern Europe. Povitica, an Easter bread from Slovenia and Croatia, is a similar enriched bread rolled with a walnut filling.
Brioche will stay fresh for 24 hours in an airtight container at room temperature.
Origins of Babka
Old forms of Babka are said to have been similar to an Italian pannetone, and were much larger and higher than their modern equivalent. They would have been known as baba, meaning grandmother, referring to their shape resembling pleated skirts. The name babka translates as little grandmother.
Store your babka at room temperature in the provided packaging using the reseal tab on the back if opened; do not refrigerate. Our babkas are baked daily and, if you can resist eating them, will stay delicious for up to 5 days after purchase.
Babka developed in the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe in the early 19th century. Extra challah dough was rolled up with fruit jam or cinnamon and baked as a loaf alongside the challah.
Jewish babka as we know it originated, as Gil Marks writes, in the early 1800s, when housewives would spread extra challah dough with jam or cinnamon, roll it up, and bake it alongside the bread.
Both the chocolate and the cinnamon fillings I chose to make were equally delicious with just the right amount of sweetness making the babka perfect as a decadent breakfast treat or as a snack along with tea or coffee.
Babka is a sweet dessert with Jewish roots. Somewhere between bread and cake, its name comes from “babcia,” a Slavic term of endearment for “grandmother.”
Not that New Yorkers' love of babka is anything new, and it's easy to see why. Babka's rich, buttery, brioche-like crumb, woven with ribbons of chocolate, is unfussy and approachable. You can eat it as dessert or breakfast, as a brunch side or a quick snack.
This is like a cross between bread and a croissant, all marbled and swirled with chocolate. The top is glazed and studded with chocolate chips. Bonus: babka is super fun to say.
Stale babka has a decadent second life as french toast, monkey bread or bread pudding. You can freeze your babkas for up to 30 days after they're baked. Allow them to cool completely, then wrap in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. To defrost, take them out of the freezer and remove the foil.
Povitica (poh-vee-TEET-sah), also known as Potica (poh-TEET-sah), is a yeast-raised dough rolled around a variety of fillings - sweet or savory - and then baked as a roll or in a cake pan or loaf pan. Its name derives from the Slovenian word poviti, which means 'to wrap in.
Brioche dough that's too wet will be slack and hard to handle, and it won't spring up as pertly during baking. Dough that's too dry will give you brioche that's heavy and dry, rather than light and fluffy.
Most of the time, brioche doesn't need to be toasted, it's delicious as it is. However, you can lightly toast your St Pierre Brioche Burger Buns to warm them up before filling them, or toast a St Pierre Brioche Roll before spreading it with jam.
Why does brioche have a far longer shelf life than most bread products? probably because it's got an awful lot of butter in it.
Yes, challah bread is similar to brioche. Challah bread is typically a Jewish bread that is kosher with no dairy in it. On the other hand, brioche is a french bread made with similar ingredients and it included butter rather than an oil such as vegetable oil. Overall, they taste pretty similar.
To my friend who posted on February 19: Your dough is dry because kneading for 16-20 minutes is WAY too long. Babka is delicate, not at all like regular bread dough and should not be kneaded but for maybe 30 seconds to combine the softened butter as the last step (far less than even this recipe recommends).
I can now attest, having consumed the whole thing (ok, I shared a little), that warmed up babka is not the better way of eating babka. It is the only way. Even if you're not a huge babka fan, I suggest you give it one more warmed-up try.
The babka dough will need to rest in your fridge for at least 6 hours, but overnight is best. Unlike most bread doughs, babka will not double in size, so don't panic if your dough doesn't rise a bunch in the fridge!
When it's finished, the loaf will be a deep golden brown on top and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped. You can also use a thermometer to check the internal temperature, which will be 185º F when the loaf is finished. Let the babka cool to room temperature before slicing.
These festive, fudgy confections are a mash-up of two traditional Jewish favorites: rugelach and chocolate babka. They have a tender, flaky pastry wrapped around a bittersweet truffle-like filling that's sprinkled with chopped nuts or cocoa nibs for a contrasting crunch.
Beat egg yolk with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Brush dough with egg wash; sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until top is golden brown and “Babkallah” sounds hollow when bottom is tapped, 35–45 minutes.
|Ingredients||Flour, Sugar, Palm Oil, Water, Whole Eggs, Cocoa, Vanilla, Yeast and Salt|
|Seasonal Availability||Year Round|
|Baking Schedule||Baked Daily|
Historian and food writer Lesley Chamberlain believes that babka came up from Italy, brought by Queen Bona Sforza of Poland in the 16th century and developed into a Russified version of the typical Italian pannetone.
Point out to students that quick breads are made with leavening agents that allow immediate baking. Yeast breads, on the other hand, are leavened with yeast and must be kneaded and allowed to rise before baking.
Be aware that over microwaving Babka is likely to make it either overly chewy or hard and stale. This is because the Babka loses its water content as the microwave turns that water into vapor, which leaves the Babka. Heat up frozen Babka in an oven.
Starting on the long side closest to you, roll the dough into a long log and pinch it closed, sealing the seam and the ends. Using scissors or a sharp serrated knife, cut the log in half lengthwise. Don't worry if the filling begins to fall out, just hold the dough together as best you can. Messy is still delicious!
Panettone, babka and brioche are yeasted sweet breads enriched with butter, eggs, milk and sugar. From there they have diverged.
It allows the flour to absorb the water, which will make the dough less sticky and easier to knead — and help prevent you from adding too much flour, which would make your babka dry. After about 20 minutes, mix/knead the dough until it's soft and smooth.
Babka is a dense bread that is traditionally swirled with either chocolate or cinnamon and often topped with streusel or shiny glaze.
Trader Joe's Chocolate Babka is made for them by a small, kosher bakery in Brooklyn that literally grew out of a grandmother's kitchen.
Places like Zabar's, Dean & Deluca, Katz's Deli, and Russ & Daughters unwrap this stuff and sell it as their own—usually without crediting Green's. It's good. Good enough for Green's to have come into a babka monopoly. And by some Jewish miracle, it's all nut-free.
Can you freeze Trader Joe's babka? Yes, this product can easily be frozen and defrosted when you are ready to enjoy it.
Eli Zabar makes his traditional babka with a chocolate and almond schmear, raspberry jam, and raisins.
Head into Trader Joe's where a team of Brooklyn bakers have created this new Chocolate Brooklyn Babka! It's made with sweet yeast dough, hand-twisted with chocolate, then proofed and baked. The swirled pastry is then topped with chocolate chips for the perfect sweet treat!
CONTAINS WHEAT, EGGS, SOY.
Chocolate Babka will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 1 month. To defrost, place on the countertop for several hours, and reheat in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes before serving.
But it'll be just as good at room temperature too. This loaf of chocolate babka doesn't last very long in our house, which is why I always make TWO at a time. You can keep the loaf in an air-tight container and in the fridge (or a cool, dry area) for about 5 days.
Yes, you can freeze brioche buns. Brioche buns can be frozen for around 3 months. To freeze brioche buns, wrap them tightly in tin foil and add them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Providing your buns are protected from freezer burn, they will freeze well for several months.
Consisting of a butter-and-egg-enriched yeast dough that is spread with a nut filling and then rolled up, potica might remind you of babka. “We'll have it for holidays or special occasions,” Zunic said, especially Easter, when the treat rivals eggs in terms of importance on the Slovenian table.
Potica is a traditional Slovenian cake, typically served on special occasions and holidays.
Known as Potica (poh-TEET-sah) among Slovenians and povitica (poh-vee-TEET-sah) among Croatians, this sweet or savory pastry is made with a yeast-raised dough that is rolled or stretched out thinly and then spread with a filling.