Classic Babka with Chocolate Filling

Our chocolate-filled take on this traditional bread would make any Jewish grandmother proud. Don’t miss our Babka Like A Boss article for even more ways to twirl up this twisted classic!

Babka Dough
 
Makes 2 (9x5-inch) loaves
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 6 ⅓ cups (792 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup warm whole milk (105°F to 110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • Egg Wash:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Chocolate Filling (recipe follows)
  • Simple Syrup:
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and zest. With mixer on low speed, add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat until mixture comes together, 2 to 3 minutes. (If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.)
  2. With mixer on medium speed, add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next. Add salt, beating just until combined, about 3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon [8 grams] at a time.)
  3. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2½ hours. After dough has risen, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Alternatively, the dough can be made one day in advance and the entire rise may take place in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. For egg wash: In a small bowl, lightly beat together egg and water.
  5. Spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray, and line with parchment paper.
  6. Divide dough in half. On a heavily floured surface, roll half of dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Spread with half of Chocolate Filling, leaving a 1-inch border on long sides of dough. Starting at one short side, roll up dough, jelly-roll style, and press edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise. Carefully twist dough pieces around each other, and place in prepared pan, cut sides up. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough. Place prepared pans on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake until a thermometer in center registers 190°F, about 35 minutes more.
  8. For simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Pour simple syrup over warm loaves while still in pans. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

 
Chocolate Filling
 
Makes enough for 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate morsels
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (90 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅓ cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat, and whisk in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and salt. Let cool to room temperature before using.

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