Chocolate is my weakness as you can see from my posts and recipes on the blog, and here’s another recipe I attempted recently – Eggless Chocolate Babka. I’ve been enchanted by babka since I had it a few years ago and had to try this recipe out. Babka is a sweet and yeasty braided bread with swirls of chocolate/cinnamon.
While the taste, texture and filling were just perfect like eating babka at a café/bakery, I still need to work on my bread braiding skills. Since it turned out almost perfect, I had to document this and share it with you all.
If you like chocolate, breads, teatime cakes/snacks, this one’s for you. I have added some reference images of how to braid the dough as found on google, I hope this helps you understand the process when trying out this decadent babka recipe.
Prep Time: 2 to 4 hours (double proofing). Bake Time: 30 mins. Total Time: 4 to 5 hours
For the babka dough
- 250g all-purpose flour (Maida) and some extra for kneading the dough
- 35g sugar
- 4g dry yeast
- Pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)
- 60g butter (room temp)
- ½ cup water or as needed to bind the dough
For the chocolate filling
- 70g chocolate (dark or milk), I prefer dark chocolate in babka. I used Callebaut 811 chocolate
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 40g butter (room temp)
- Additional chopped chocolate or chips to add on top of the filling
- Optional 20g sugar if you want the filling to be extra sweet, I would recommend adding the sugar
For the sugar syrup:
- 20g sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- In a small bowl, add the warm water (shouldn’t be hot but just enough that you can comfortably keep you pinkie/finger in for 3-4 seconds). Add the yeast and sugar, stir it well for 10 seconds, then cover with a lid and set aside for 5 to 10 mins till frothy i.e. the yeast has activated.
- In a large bowl add the salt, flour and the yeast mixture and mix it well. Be sure to put the salt and yeast mixture on different parts, as the salt will affect the activated yeast.
- Knead the dough well for 4-5 minutes or until its mixed and formed into a smooth dough like ball. You will know it’s ready to be proofed when you slightly touch the dough and it comes back or is not sticky anymore.
- Place the dough in a well-greased bowl. Very important to cover the bowl with clingwrap and cover with a damp cloth in a warm/room temperature setting for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled. Patience is key here!
- Use this time to prepare the chocolate filling. Add the chocolate, butter, sugar over a double boiler and Mix until smooth and cool it down at room temperature until be spreadable (about 1-2 hours). Make sure the chocolate filling is not too liquid or watery or it will fall out when rolling the dough.
- Once the dough has doubled you know it is time for the next step i.e. roll the dough on a surface dusted with flour, using a rolling pin (belan) into a rectangle shape, making sure its rolled evenly throughout especially the corners
- Spread the chocolate on the freshly rolled dough, top it with some more chocolate chips or chunks. I added chocolate generously to this than I would usually and it was a wise decision as it had the right amount of sweetness with the bread and we were able to eat 4-5 pieces each
- Roll the rectangle dough slowly starting from one corner all the way to the end ensuring its fully rolled.
- Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 2 parts through the middle (see images below) and braid the dough by intertwining the two long pieces you have just cut. Cut the braided bread into two equal halves and place it in a bread tin/pan. I used baking paper in the pan and then placed the dough into it.
- Cover the pan with a clingwrap and a damp cloth in a warm/room temperature setting for 1 hour until they are beautifully risen and or doubled.
- Once the dough has risen again to the top of the pan, prepare the sugar syrup. Add boiling water and sugar until it dissolves.
- After the babka is baked and out of the oven, brush the warm babka with the sugar syrup, to add moisture to the babka and refrain from drying out.
These images are from google, hope these help in understanding on the assembling and braiding process (Not mine)
On the stove in a make-do oven:
- Preheat the make do oven and place it in low flame for 30-35 mins. Put in a toothpick or knife to see if it’s baked. Once it starts turning into a beautiful golden brown colour, keep an eye out as there is a chance for the sides to be overbaked and not so much in the middle.
In an oven:
- Preheat the oven and bake it at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Allow the babka to cool down and then enjoy the delicious Chocolate Babka! They are perfect for appetizers, bite sized snacks and pair perfectly well with your afternoon tea/coffee.
- You can store this in the fridge for up to 2 days, warm it and consume if refrigerating. However, these are so delicious there may not be leftovers! 😉
You can also use Nutella, cinnamon or any filling you enjoy with bread instead of the chocolate filling!