Not Your Bubbe's Chocolate Babka

                                                                     Photo: Amy Siegel

Adapted from a recipe by Amy Siegel
Red Star PLATINUM Yeast Sampling/Baking Contest entry

This recipe caught our "eye" because of the unique way that the babka is formed;  like a jelly roll but with a twist.


1 packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 cups flour
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 heaping teaspoon instant espresso granules dissolved in 2 Tbsp. hot water
1/2 cup cacao nibs, finely chopped

Egg wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt (i.e., finishing salt or sel gris)


In a small bowl place yeast,warm water and sugar. Stir together. Allow to sit 5 minutes until bubbles appear at the surface.

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a bread hook*, beat together 2 1/2 cups flour, yeast mixture, melted butter, honey, eggs and buttermilk until smooth. Add remaining flour, and beat until dough forms a ball. The surface of the dough should be smooth in appearance. Cover dough with a damp cloth, and allow to rise for 1-2 hours until double in size.

In a medium bowl, stir together first 6 filling ingredients until smooth. Set aside. Beat together ingredients for egg wash in a small bowl, set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees. Grease two 10 x 5-inch loaf pans with butter or cooking spray.

On a flat surface, sprinkle a small amount of flour. Divide dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each ball into a 10x8-inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with a thin layer of egg wash. Spoon filling mixture evenly over egg wash leaving a 1-inch margin all around. Sprinkle cacao nibs over filling. Roll up dough jelly roll style from the long end. Place 2 dough “logs” side by side and twist together, then fold in half and twist again. Repeat with remaining dough. Place twisted dough loafs into prepared pans. Brush tops with remaining egg wash, and sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Best served slightly warm or at room temperature.


Yield: 2 loaves

*This may be done in a bread machine on the dough setting.

Recipes: Desserts, Babka, Chocolate, Dairy, Kosher

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