Perfect to enjoy with a steaming hot cup of coffee, this traditional sweet bread, chocolate babka, also makes a lovely gift wrapped in pretty paper and placed in a basket. This is a welcome treat during the holiday season.
There are many different recipes for chocolate babka. Although there are several steps to this recipe, it really is easy to make. You'll want to make sure you have several hours set aside to make this, because the dough will need time to rise, about two hours total.
Easy chocolate babka recipe
Adapted from Ladies Home Journal
Yields 1 loaf
For the bread
- 1/2 package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Nonstick cooking spray
For the filling
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
For the streusel
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
For the filling
- Add the sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and walnuts to a small bowl and mix together well.
For the dough
- Add the warm water to a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Allow the mixture to stand for about 5 minutes or until the water is foamy.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, egg and salt. Whisk the ingredients until well combined.
- Once the water with the yeast is foamy, add the yogurt mixture to it.
- Add the flour to the mixture, adding 1 cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon.
- Knead the dough in the bowl until all the flour is mixed into the dough. The dough should be soft.
- Spray a large bowl with the nonstick cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl, then lightly spray the top of the bowl.
- Place a clean kitchen towel over the bowl and place it in a warm spot for about an hour, or until the dough it doubles in size.
- Once the dough has risen, lightly flour a flat work surface. Place the dough on the surface and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- Stretch and roll the dough to a rectangle shape, about 15 inches long by 10 inches wide.
- Brush the 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the rectangle, leaving a small border (about 1/2 an inch) around the edges.
- Sprinkle the sugar and cocoa mixture over the dough. Starting from the shorter end, roll up the dough. Pinch the ends closed, along with the seam.
- Gently twist the dough (like your wringing clothes) a few times, and place it in a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan. You may need to curve the roll back and forth to fit into the pan.
- Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and allow it to stand in a warm place for about an hour.
- Stir the streusel ingredients together in a small bowl until crumbly. When you are ready to bake the babka, sprinkle it on.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the babka for about 30-35 mintues or until it is lightly golden on top.
- Allow the pan to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, remove babka from the pan and continue to let the babka cool before serving.
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