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April Bakealong Challenge: Chocolate Babka


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Description

Chocolate Babka is April’s Bakealong challenge. This Chocolate Babka recipe delivers the ultimate sweet bread, complete with crunchy streusel on top.


Ingredients

240-300 ml (1-1/4 cups) water

2 eggs, large

750 grams (6 1/4 cups) all purpose flour

142 grams (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons instant yeast

32 grams (1/3 cup) powdered milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

110 grams (1/2 cup) sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

57 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

170 grams (1 cup) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

110 grams (1/2 cup) sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

28 grams (1/3 cup) cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

113 grams (1 cup) pecans, finely chopped

For the glaze:

1 egg, large, beaten with a pinch of salt

For the streusel:

57 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

74 grams (2/3 cup) powdered sugar

60 grams (1/2 cup) all purpose flour


Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl and mix until moistened. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes.Note: Use 240 ml (1 cup) of water first. Add water as necessary until the dough comes together.
  2. Knead the dough until smooth. Transfer to a greased bowl and cover. Let the dough rest for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until quite puffy.
  3. For the filling: In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate. Add the sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk cocoa powder and cinnamon until combined. Stir in the espresso powder or coffee extract. Set aside.Note: In the original recipe, it calls for mixing the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and espresso powder together. The melted butter is then added to the mixture.
  4. Deflate the dough and divide in half. Shape each half of the dough into a ball and roll into a rectangle, about 9″ x 18″ and 1/4″ thick.
  5. Spread the butter-chocolate filling over the surface, leaving an inch around each edge. Sprinkle half of the nuts as well.Note: In the original recipe, since the chocolate chips are not melted with the butter, these are sprinkled on top along with the nuts.
  6. Starting with the short edge, roll the dough into a log, tucking the ends to seal. Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut the dough in half lengthwise. Turn the cut dough such that the filling is exposed. Take both half pieces (filling side up), and gently twist them into a braid. Pinch the ends to seal and place into a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Repeat for the other half of the dough.Note: To twist into a wreath, I used a tube pan instead. Once the dough has been braided, carefully transfer to the tube pan and arrange into a circle. Pinch the ends to seal.
  7. FOR THE STREUSEL: Mix all the ingredients until crumbly.
  8. Brush egg glaze over the tops of the dough. Sprinkle with streusel (if using). Cover with plastic wrap and let the shaped dough rise for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, until very puffy. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 300F/150C towards the end of the rising period.
  9. Brush egg glaze over the tops of the dough. Sprinkle with streusel (if using). Cover with plastic wrap and let the shaped dough rise for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, until very puffy. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 300F/150C towards the end of the rising period.
  10. Brush egg glaze over the tops of the dough. Sprinkle with streusel (if using). Cover with plastic wrap and let the shaped dough rise for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, until very puffy. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 300F/150C towards the end of the rising period.