Babka - an Eastern Europe Bread

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

An amazing stuffed brioche dough, filled with chocolate, that will make your guests very impressed about your baking skills. It is super easy, and the results are amazing!


The recipe makes 2 good sized babkas, one to share, and the other one to keep it to yourself! and if it goes old, to make a babka french toast, which is OUT OF THE PLANET.


I cant share this recipe, and not give thanks, to my Isreali friend Hagar, who introduced me to this amazing bread while we were studying in NYC. She took me to Bread's Bakery at Union Square who have the best Babka in the world (outside of Israel she said, of course lol), to make me try this, and I will be forever grateful!


Sourdough Chocolate Babka

As I have wrote about before, all the ingredients are weighted, as it is the only way to ensure you get the expected results. So get your scales out!


Instruments:

  • Bread Loaf Pan

  • Digital Scale

  • Scrapper

  • Rolling Pin

  • Brush

  • Spatula


Ingredients


Dough:


  • Bread Flour - 500 grams

  • Milk - 150 grams

  • Eggs (2 eggs) - 110 grams

  • Instant Yeast - 20 grams

  • Sugar - 60 grams

  • Salt - 10 grams

  • Butter - 160 grams (cold)

Filling:

  • Sugar - 50 grams

  • Cocoa Powder - 30 grams

  • Dark Chocolate - 130 grams

  • Unsalted butter - 120 grams

Glaze:

  • Water: 1/3 cup

  • Sugar: 2/3 cup


Instructions:


1) Mixing: Put all the ingredients, except the butter in your stand mixer.

(*This dough can’t be done by hand*)

  • Develop the dough, until all the ingredients come together, and add the cold butter after this has happened until it is fully incorporated.

  • Mix in high speed until the dough is smooth, and passes the “windowpane” test. This means, that if you pick a little chunk of dough and try stretching it slowly, you should get a smooth and see-through layer of dough. This development of the gluten takes some time, so check every 5 minutes to see if you are getting there.

  • Once you have achieved the above, take the dough out the mixer, and shape it into a ball.

2) Resting: Let the dough rest, covered in plastic, for approximately 20 minutes, or as it feels fluffy.


3) Prepare the Filling: Mix all ingredients in a pan at medium heat, until everything is dissolved and let cool.


4) Dividing and shaping:

  • Divide the dough in 500 gram pieces, put flour on the table, on both sides of the dough and roll each piece at a time with the roller pin in a rectangle shape (look at the photo below and use the width of the baking pan that you will be using as your width).

  • The longer you go, the dough will start "fighting back," when this happens, let it rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten, then stretch it some more. Stop every time the dough resists, to prevent it from breaking.

  • Put the filling in the middle, and spread everywhere, except for the sides (as you can see in the picture below).

  • Roll the dough and seal both edges.

  • With a knife, cut the log in half, lengthwise.

  • With the filling looking up, shape both pieces into a braid.


How to roll and place the filling

How to cut and roll the dough

Proofing: I will not give you a time of proofing as it always depends on temperature of your kitchen and humidity, so just look after it, and you will need to see it growing to the edge of your bread loaf pan. Its always better to under proof it than going over, at it will collapse and break down. So if you are not sure, after it looks fluflly and proofed, just put it in the oven before its too late. Plus, it will have an extra oven spring with the heat of the oven.


Baking: Heat the oven to 350°F, and bake for 30 minutes. Then tent lightly with a foil and bake for 15 more minutes.


Glazing: After the babka is still warm out of the oven, prepare the glaze in a pan, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved in the water. Brush the glaze over the Babkas. It will seem like a lot but its never enough! (you'll see!)


As a tip, remember you can make the filling you like, it can be savory or sweet.


Enjoy and let me know how it turns out!


We also teach this and other breakfast and brunch breads in our workshops, in Lansdale, PA (near Philadelphia) check them out here!


Remember to log in to leave comments below!


With love,


Javi

xxxxx


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