After a long, long wait, I finally got around to making an easy chocolate babka. This rich, moist, soft brioche kind of bread with decadent chocolate swirls is a labor of love. And we just can't get enough of the babka cake!
I picked up this recipe for babka cake from the famous Ottolenghi's Jerusalem Cookbook. His glossy chocolate Krantz cakes are a delight to look at, and there is nobody I know who would not want to reach out and greedily devour them. One look at them, and I knew I just wanted to make them right away!
WHAT IS A BABKA?
Babka is a Jewish recipe for a buttery, dense bread. Think of a cake and bread hybrid. As it is enriched with eggs and butter, it is similar to brioche bread. A rich brioche bread wrapped around swirls of dark, luscious chocolate.
The crumb is soft, moist, and firm, as opposed to a cake crumb, which is spongy and tender. Filled with gooey chocolatey swirls that add a great texture and sweetness to the loaf, each bite of chocolate babka bread is utterly divine!
As Yotam Ottolenghi says, "It is scrumptiously soft and sweet, like a cross between a rum baba and a Danish pastry."
WHY TRY THIS EASY BABKA BREAD?
Yes, babka bread takes time. But all good things do. The result is nothing short of incredible, making the time invested more than worthwhile.
Buttery, chocolatey, and absolutely scrumptious treats that will satisfy your sweet cravings most delightfully.
You simply can't go wrong with the foolproof combination of butter and chocolate.
HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY CHOCOLATE BABKA?
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
Step 2: Stir in the eggs and water until the mixture comes together. Use a stand mixer or mix by hand.
Step 3: Incorporate cubes of softened butter one by one until you have a shiny, smooth, and elastic babka dough.
Step 4: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Step 5: Chocolate babka filling recipe: mix melted chocolate, butter, icing sugar, and cocoa powder until well combined.
Step 6: Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into two portions. Roll each portion into a rectangle, approximately 14" x 11".
Step 7: Spread the chocolate filling evenly on both rectangles, leaving a 2 cm border. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over the chocolate filling.
Step 8: Roll each rectangle tightly into a log, starting from the long side. Cut each log lengthwise into two. With the cut side facing up, pinch the ends of both sides together.
Step 9: Braid the dough by placing the right-side dough over the left-side dough. Continue down the length. Gently tuck in both ends under themselves. Repeat with the second rectangle.
Step 10: Line two loaf pans with parchment paper and place the braids, cut sides up, into the pans.
Step 11: Cover the pans with damp tea towels and let them rise in a draft-free area for 1.5–2 hours.
Step 12: Preheat the oven to 190°C. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 13: While the easy chocolate babka bakes, make the sugar syrup. In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.
Step 14: As soon as the babka comes out of the oven, brush each loaf liberally with the sugar syrup.
Final step: Leave the bread in the pans until just warm, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
CHOCOLATE BABKA RECIPE NOTES
- Don't skimp on the sugar syrup right at the end. Even if you think it will be too much sugar, keep pouring. Trust me, the Babka chocolate bread will be perfectly sweetened and deeply flavored.
- If you don’t want a chocolate filling, you can use a spread like Nutella. It lends a moist, lushness to the treat and gives it that characteristic Babka texture.
- The chocolate babka will last up to 48 hours at room temperature, wrapped in foil. You can also freeze it for up to 2 weeks.
WANT ANOTHER EASY HOLIDAY RECIPE?
Half the joy of cooking is sharing it with others. That’s why I’m always eager to hear from you. So go right ahead and drop a comment or reach out on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or Facebook. I hope you love this easy chocolate babka as much as we do!
Easy Homemade Chocolate Babka
- 530 gms All purpose flour
- 100 gms Caster sugar/powdered sugar
- 2 tsp Dried active yeast
- 3 Eggs
- 120 ml Water
- 1 pinch Salt
- 150 gms Butter, cut into small cubes and softened The recipe asks for unsalted, but I used salted butter
- Vegetable oil for greasing the bowl
- 50 gms Cocoa powder
- 30 gms icing sugar
- 130 gms Dark chocolate 70%, melted
- 120 gms Butter, melted The recipe asks for unsalted, but I used salted butter
- 100 gms Walnuts, chopped
- 260 gms Sugar
- 160 ml Water
- Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl. Stir it all well. Add the eggs and water and mix it all well till the dough starts coming together. A stand mixer works the best for this recipe, though you can do this dough by hand too.
- Now start adding the softened cubes of butter, a few at a time. Continue mixing till the dough is shiny, smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a big bowl, greased with the vegetable oil, cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight.
- Mix together the melted chocolate, butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator, and divide it into 2. Roll each half into a rectangle 14'* 11* roughly. Spread the chocolate filling evenly on both rectangles, leaving 2 cm border all around. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
- Roll the dough tightly into a log, starting from the long side. Cut the log lengthwise into 2. With the cut side facing up, pinch the ends of both sides together.
- Start with the right side dough, take it over the left side dough, continue down the length, making a braid. Gently tuck in both the ends under themselves. Repeat with the second rectangle.
- Line 2 8"* 4" loaf pans with parchment paper. Place the 2 braids carefully with the cut sides showing on top. Cover the pans with damp tea towels and keep them in a draft-free area for 1.5 - 2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 190C. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool.
- As soon as the breads come out of the oven, brush each loaf liberally with the sugar syrup. Leave the breads in the pan till they are just warm. Take them out on a cooling rack to cool completely. We preferred to tear into the loaf while it was still warm! Enjoy!