It is an Easter tradition to make the recipe for Babka or Baba, a spongy rectangular or crown-shaped braid that is made from a fermented sweet dough so delicious that we enjoy it all year round. Surely you have recently heard the word "Babka " or have you seen any "chocolate babka", because babka are in fashion and for good reason!

In the complete babka recipe that we bring you today, we tell you how to make a delicious and traditional Chocolate Babka , with detailed step-by-step so that you can prepare it without fear and solving all doubts. You'll be feten!

Now you can think about whether you want to make it rectangular or in the shape of a crown, in all cases success is assured.

what is a babka

He babka, bobka or baba is a braided, fluffy and fermented bun (requires some kneading and baker's yeast), and it is a sweet dough originating in eastern Europe.

It is a tradition to prepare it at Easter, and it originates from Eastern countries (it is very typical of Poland, Russia, Ukraine...), filled with chocolate or cinnamon.

The name babka means " grandmother" in several Slavic languages: the folds of the bun resemble those of a skirt.

chocolate babka

Ingredients

Ingredients for the babka:

  • 310 grams of all-purpose wheat flour (and 2 more tablespoons)
  • 35 gr of sugar (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 5 g dry baker's yeast (or 15 g fresh yeast)
  • 1¼ tsp salt (about 3.5 g)
  • 60 ml of water (plus 1 tablespoon aside)
  • 60 grams of unsalted butter (¼ cup)
  • 60 ml of whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 XL eggs, at room temperature
  • Chocolate filling (recipe below)
  • 50 g confectionery chocolate (65-70% cocoa minimum), chopped
  • Simple Sugar Syrup (recipe below)

Ingredients for the chocolate filling:

  • 65 gr of dark chocolate 70% cocoa
  • 45 gr of salted butter (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 30 gr of icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp (about 15 grams) cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) of salt

Ingredients for the syrup* (simple sugar syrup):

  • 35 gr of sugar (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 30 ml of water (2 tablespoons)

*With this amount you get 3 tablespoons of syrup. You can double the quantities if you want to drizzle more syrup, or add half a tablespoon more of water if you want something more liquid.


Preparation

Step by step to make the babka:

Preparation of the chocolate babka dough:

  1. In a bowl, mix 125 g of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Booking. Note: if you have a KitchenAid robot , make this flour mixture already in the robot's bowl.
  2. Put a saucepan on the fire, at low or medium power, and heat the water, butter, milk and vanilla, and mix with a spatula while it heats up, until it reaches 50 ºC. Let it warm a few degrees for a few minutes and add that butter mixture to the reserved bowl with the flour (in the KitchenAid bowl to dispose of).
  3. Use the paddle attachment to mix at medium-low speed until you get a homogeneous mixture.
  4. Add 1 of the eggs and beat until incorporated.
  5. With mixer on low speed (or while stirring by hand), gradually add remaining flour (remaining 185g), beating on speed 4-6, until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally .
  6. Once you have a homogeneous mass, switch to the hook accessory. Note: the hook accessory is the accessory used for kneading; In case of doing it without a robot, it is time to remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface, to start working the dough.
  7. Knead on speed 4 for a long time, until a soft and slightly sticky dough forms (5 to 7 minutes), stopping every few minutes to scrape down the bowl and dough hook. If the dough is very sticky, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour (first one, and if required after integrating and kneading, add the second, about 8-10 grams each time).
  8. Once the dough is ready, pour it onto a lightly floured surface and with the help of your hands form a circular dough.
  9. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil, and leave the dough inside. Cover with a cotton cloth and leave in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  10. Once risen, transfer the dough to a very lightly floured surface (I like to use the Nordic Ware pan for this, because it's so wide and I don't mess up the counter), and press the dough with your fingers and roll it out to get a rectangle of about 20cm x 15cm. Arrange a film previously greased with oil on top of the dough, loosely, without squeezing the dough. Leave it for at least one hour in a cool place (you can leave it in the fridge overnight, to finish it and bake it in the morning).

Fill and form the chocolate babka:

  1. When you go to prepare the babka, remove the tray from the fridge and let it warm for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the tray or mold where you will bake the babka: grease the surface of the mold with butter or simply apply a layer of release spray .

Step by step recipe for chocolate babka

Le Creuset bread oven and Emile Henry ceramic mold

    1. Prepare the chocolate filling (recipe below) .
    2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    3. On the same tray or floured surface where you have the dough, roll out the dough and make a rectangle of On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 30 x 25 cm rectangle (and 5 or 6 mm high).
    4. Using an offset spatula , spread the chocolate filling over the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border on the two short and one long sides (meaning you only have to go all the way with the chocolate on one of the long sides). .
    5. Spread the chopped chocolate all over the surface.
    6. Now, you must roll the dough. It has to be done on the long side, and rolling up to the other long side, obtaining a long and thick cylinder. To ensure it doesn't unroll, pinch the dough with your fingers, catching the trailing edge with the bottom dough (binding the dough together and making it impossible for the cylinder to open).
    7. Place the closed seam down but not in the center, but to the side. Now, with the help of a sharp knife or a baker's scraper, cut the roll in half lengthwise but leaving the end joined (thus obtaining two long strips joined by the dough on top).
    8. Turn the halves over so that the cut side is up (so you can see the layers of dough and chocolate facing up). Now, cross them in an "X" shape, and cross it again (in short, braid the two strips of dough you have, keeping the layer cut facing up).
    9. You already have your babka formed! Now:
      • If you're making a rectangular babka: Place it in the rectangular pan you've prepared, making sure to keep the cut sides up and the ends in, so it looks nice. Cover and let rise at room temperature (ideally around 75°F) for 30 minutes to 1 hour (babka should rise).
      • If you make a crown-shaped babka: Place the braid you have formed on the tray you have prepared, forming a circle, and join the ends, intertwining and pinching where the ends meet. Let the dough relax again, covering the babka with oiled plastic wrap, for half an hour or an hour.
    1. In a small bowl, mix the reserved egg and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of water, and brush the babka with a pastry brush.
    2. Place in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, until it is golden and indicates an internal temperature of 90 ºC. If you notice that it is done too quickly from the top, cover it with aluminum foil if using a rectangular mold or tray, or apply the cocotte lid if doing it in the bread cocotte (in fact, you can do the babka covered when entering the cocotte, it will grow more progressively).

    We cover with the simple sugar syrup:

    1. In a small ceramic bowl, mix the 35 g of sugar and the 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave or heat in a saucepan over high heat, in 15-second intervals. Stir at each pause, and repeat until the sugar is completely melted. Let it cool down and be practically warm before applying on the babka.
    2. When the babka is done, remove it from the oven and brush it immediately with the syrup you have prepared.
    3. Let the mold or tray cool for about 10 minutes, unmold and leave it on a cooling rack until the heat is completely lost.

    How to make the syrup for the babka topping

    Preparation of the chocolate filling:

    • In the microwave: Arrange the butter and the chopped or crushed chocolate in a bowl, and heat it in the microwave for one minute. Remove and mix well, the melted butter will help to finish melting the chocolate, or if you need it, put it back in the microwave for another 10 or 20 seconds. When completely melted and still piping hot, add the icing sugar, cocoa and salt until smooth. Let it lose heat at room temperature.
    • In a bain-marie: In a bain-marie saucepan, add the chopped chocolate and the butter and melt until a homogeneous, smooth and shiny mixture is obtained. Add the sugar, cocoa and salt and keep stirring until everything is integrated. For the fire and let it lose heat at room temperature before using.

    Notes on the preparation of the babka:

    • I take advantage of the oven to let the masses rise. You just have to leave the oven at about 50 degrees for 5-8 minutes and stop it. Then you introduce the bowl with the dough inside, covered with the damp cotton cloth (and the cloth on the bowl, without touching the dough). It is a good resource for the dough to be in a warm and mild place quickly.
    • You can see that what will mark the preparation time of the recipe is the rising time of the dough. The colder the place, the longer it will take to rise.
    • This babka is also delicious with hazelnuts. You just have to add crushed hazelnuts distributed over the entire surface of the dough when you distribute the chocolate (in point 18, apart from the chocolate you can also add the hazelnuts then).
    • Cinnamon babka is also traditional. You can simply apply cinnamon in the center or add cinnamon and hazelnuts, or a touch of cinnamon to your chocolate babka.

      Served with a coffee or a cup of chocolate, I assure you that this babka is the best of breakfasts and snacks. I hope you enjoy it a lot (many times).

      Easy Chocolate Babka Recipe

      Note: If you want to make a chocolate braid with open dough, I invite you to see this one that we have on the blog .

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      Comments

      Anca Mihaela Tabaranu said:

      Hola! También es un dulce tradicional en Rumanía y se llama ‘cozonac’. Yo el otro día he hecho el pan vienés de vuestra página, me ha salido espectacular. Lo hemos comido como un pan quemado, de hecho he pensado que es la misma receta. Estoy pensando hacerlo otra vez y ponerle el relleno típico de cozonac – babka: cacao, azúcar, nueces, canela. Y creo que saldrá divino. Gracias por vuestras recetas.

      Claudia said:

      Feliz de que te guste, Isabel. Sí te animas a hacerla, verás qué riquísimo resulta! Un abrazo

      Isabel said:

      Maravillosa receta,mil gracias!!!!!!

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