Chocolate Babka is a chocolate enriched bread best eaten with coffee or also apt for breakfast. It is laden with chocolate, butter, and is totally luscious. While baking, its aroma is appetizing and it absolutely melts in the mouth.
It was during my family trip to the beaches and sands that I got a chance to savor this Eastern European Jewish delicacy at the hotel in our breakfast. It was not that I hadn’t had this earlier. But the Chocolate Babka that I had there was the best of all that I ate earlier. The taste of that Babka still lingers on my taste buds.
I am passionate about baking. I was eager to go back and try out that version of Chocolate Babka. I am a person who seeks perfection in my endeavors and I had to bake a Babka to soothe the baker in me. It was rather a challenge for me this time. I started the process by collecting all the ingredients. I was a little extra cautious this time. I had challenged myself afterall…
As I pen this recipe down today, the taste of the Babka tantalizes my taste buds yet again and also a feeling of being proud of me for having won the challenge that I posed to myself. The recipe follows…
|Yield||1 9” loaf|
|Baking Temperature||180 degrees Celsius|
|Baking time||35-40 minutes|
|Active dry yeast||2 tsp||10 gms|
|Whole milk preferably||1/2 cup||
|Unsalted butter||6 tbsp||90 gms|
|Sea Salt||1/4 tsp|
|Flour||2 cups||280 gms|
|Butter||7 tbsp||100 gms|
|Granulated Sugar||3/4 cup||150 gms|
|Bittersweet chocolate chopped (70% cocoa mass as per author’s recommendation)||80 gms|
|Ground cinnamon||1 tsp||5 gms|
|Toasted hazelnuts/walnuts||1/2 cup||65 gms|
|Cocoa Powder||5 tbsp||40 gms|
|Crumbled brownie/chocolate wafer cookie (optional)||65 gms|
|Sugar||1/2 cup||100 gms|
|Water||1/2 cup||125 ml|
A Day before baking…
1. Activate the yeast with some warm milk and let it sit for around ten minutes.
2. In a bowl of stand mixer, mix the activated yeast and balance milk, sugar and 40 grams of flour. Let it rest until bubbles appear, this will take about 10 minutes. This would be our starter.
3. Use a dough hook, add balance flour, egg and salt and start mixing the dough until a cleanup stage. Clean up stage is a stage when you see your bowl clean from the sides after mixing. But the dough has not finished its kneading process.
4. Meanwhile, when the dough is still mixing, make your cold butter pliable by hammering in between two parchment sheets to soften it slightly.
5. Turn your mixer to medium speed and start putting cold softened butter slowly, waiting in between to let the butter fully get incorporated into the dough. Turn on the mixture now to medium-high speed and keep on mixing till you achieve smooth dough and is well developed with a nice gluten structure. Check the dough with a gluten window test; you should be able to stretch a nice thin membrane without tearing.
6. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 6 hours or overnight.
|On the day of baking…
1. Butter a 9” loaf pan and line the bottom and up the sides with a piece of parchment paper overhanging
the two long sides, which will help to remove the baked Babka later.
2. For the filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
(It is okay to have few grains visible as they will melt later). Remove from the heat and add the chocolate.
Let it stand for two-three minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is homogeneous.
Stir in the cocoa powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. Take out the refrigerated dough and start rolling the dough on a slightly dusted surface to a size 12*20 inches.
If the dough contracts and resists when rolling it, roll it out partially into a rectangle and let it sit for 5-10 minutes,
then continue to roll it out to the final dimensions once it is relaxed.
4. Spread the chocolate filling over the surface of the rectangle all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the nuts and
brownie bits over the chocolate. Starting at one of the long ends of the rectangle, roll up the dough like a log to
20 inches long.
5. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough log completely in half lengthwise. With the cut side facing up, overlap
the end of one cut half over the other, with the other cut (Russian braid) overlapping and twisting the two
halves of the dough together until the dough looks like one big twist. Any nuts/filling that have fallen out,
toss them into the bottom of the loaf pan.
6. Lift the braided loaf and put/fit it into the prepared loaf pan by pushing in on the two ends to fit into the
pan perfectly. Place the loaf pan in a very warm place and let it rise for about two hours or until double in size.
7. Make the syrup while the dough is rising. Bring water, sugar and honey to a boil in a small saucepan.
Take off any foam that rises to the surface with a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
8. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Bake the Babka on the middle rack of the oven for 30 – 45 minutes
at 180 degrees Celsius. Check by inserting a skewer into the center, if it comes out clean, Babka is done.
Few bits of chocolate clinging to skewer are normal.
9. Remove the Babka from the oven and spoon the syrup which is at room temperature on hot Babka evenly.
Let the Babka cool completely before lifting it out. Slice it when it is cooled down completely.
10. Keep it for four days in room temperature or can be frozen for up to two months, if well wrapped.
Try out this Heavenly Chocolate Babka and or you can also order it from Sugar Blush, Raipur. After all a passionate baker’s special touch would give that extra yumminess to the Babka for sure.
Reincarnating Raipur congratulates Sugar Blush on their success. We sincerely thank Ms. Niharika for sharing her story, her experience and her recipe with us.