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How to make kokosh — the babka alternative you need to know about

Nancy

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Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home

A delightful treat is awaiting you this Hanukkah, but it's not babka. It's called kokosh, and it's filled with sugary chocolate and a delicate crust.

Kokosh is a Jewish treat that's similar to a babka cake, only a kokosh sits lower, is longer and isn't braided like a babka is. A kokosh generally doesn't come topped with streusel like a babka does, and it's filled with a chocolate mixture or one that comes flavored with cinnamon and/or coffee.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

This recipe for kokosh has a filling made with just cocoa powder and three different types of sugar. Let's check out how it's made.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

To a medium-size bowl, add the ingredients for the filling — cocoa powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Then stir together.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

And set aside for just a moment while making the dough.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

When making the dough, start off by adding dry active yeast to a small bowl with warm water in it. Let the yeast sit in the water until it starts to bubble (about 10 minutes).

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

To a medium-size bowl, add the dough ingredients.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

When the yeast starts to bubble, add it to the bowl with the dough ingredients.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Mix the ingredients until a dough forms. Knead the dough a couple of times, and then set it on a flour-coated cutting board. With a knife, cut the dough in half. Return one of the halves to the bowl, and set it aside.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Roll out the other half of the dough.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Spread canola oil on the top of the dough.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Then sprinkle the cocoa mixture on top of the dough.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Starting with the longest side, roll the dough. Pinch the ends a bit so that the cocoa mixture doesn't leak out. Also pinch together the end of the dough roll.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Lay the kokosh on parchment paper. To a small bowl, add the egg and water. Whisk together, and spread the egg wash on top of the kokosh. Repeat the process for the remaining piece of dough. Bake in the oven until the dough turns a golden color (about 30 minutes).

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Remove from the oven, and let cool.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Serve warm, and enjoy.

Kokosh is the Jewish pastry you've been missing all your life — here's how to make it at home
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Kokosh recipe

Serves 10

Prep time: 25 | Bake time: 30 minutes | Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the dough

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (for the yeast)
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs (for the dough)
  • 2 dashes salt
  • 1-1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 egg, beaten (for the egg wash)
  • 3 teaspoons water (for the egg wash)

Directions:

For the filling

  1. To a medium-size bowl, add all the ingredients, and stir. Set aside.

For the dough

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To a small bowl, add the yeast and warm water. Let sit until the mixture bubbles (10 minutes).
  3. To a large bowl, add the flour, orange juice, sugar, eggs, salt and butter.
  4. As soon as the yeast mixture starts to bubble, add it to the dough.
  5. With a large spoon, mix the dough ingredients together.
  6. Knead the dough a few times with your hands.
  7. Lay the dough on a floured cutting board, and cut the dough in half. Set 1 of the halves back in the mixing bowl.
  8. Roll the other half, fairly thin, into a rectangle.
  9. Spread a light coating of canola oil on top of the dough.
  10. Add 1/2 the cocoa mixture on top of the dough and, starting from the longest side, roll the dough.
  11. Pinch the sides of the roll so that the chocolate mixture doesn't spill out.
  12. Also pinch the edge of the dough at the end of the roll.
  13. Lay the roll on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  14. To a small bowl, add the egg and water, and whisk together.
  15. Brush the egg mixture on top of the roll.
  16. Repeat the process for the other half of the dough.
  17. Bake until the dough turns a golden color (about 30 minutes).
  18. Let cool. Slice, and serve while warm.

More Hanukkah recipes

Matzo ball soup for Hanukkah
Cinnamon and sugar babka
Challah recipe

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