Babka is so beautifully impressive. And tastes just as delightful as its appearance. The swirling chocolate-marbled brioche dough is soft & delicate, slightly chewy and just simply delicious. It’s perfect to slice warm from the oven on a weekend morning, or as an afternoon snack with a cappuccino, mmmm.
I first came across Babka when studying one of my favourite cook books, Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolengi a.k.a one of my favourite chefs in the world. His recipe for Babka which I use below is fool-proof, and definitely worth the overnight prooving.
This Babka has a dark chocolate and toasted pecan filling with a handful of white choclate drops thrown in for good measure. But, the beauty of Babka is it’s versatility – you can really incorporate anything you like into the base of the dough, from an almond frangipane filling or creme patisserie, to caramelised bananas, pistachios or raspberries (to name a few of my favourites).
I hope you enjoy this recipe and much as I did, THANK YOU OTTOLENGI ❤
Ingredients: (Makes 2 medium sized loaves)
- 530g plain flour, plus more for shaping
- 100 g of caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, free range/ organic
- zest of 1 small lemon
- 10g of ready-action instant yeast
- 120 ml of lukewarm water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 150 g butter, room temp/ softened
- 50 g icing sugar
- 30 g cocoa powder, I like to use Bourneville
- 130g dark chocolate, melted
- 120 g butter, melted
- 100g pecans, chopped into small chunks – toasted in a dry pan for a few minutes (optional)
- 4 tbsp. white chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- Start by making your dough. Place flour, sugar, dried yeast, and lemon zest in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook and stir to combine.
- Next, add in your eggs, salt and warm water, and mix on medium speed for a few minutes until everything is combined and a dough is formed.
- Add the softened butter into the mixer on a medium speed in 4 or 5 batches, mixing in between each batch until the butter us fully incorporated.
- Then continue to mix the dough on a medium speed for 8-10 minutes, until dough is completely smooth, elastic, shiny, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- It’s time to rest your dough. Pop your dough in a large bowl brushed with oil, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight, or if you’re making during the morning you’ll need to wait at least 7-8 hours.
- After your dough has finished proving, grease two medium-sized loaf tins lightly with oil and set to one side.
- Next divide the dough into two.
- Now make the filling. Whisk together your cocoa, icing sugar, melted dark chocolate and melted butter to make a paste.
- Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle measuring roughly 38×28 cm.
- Cover the dough with half of the chocolate paste, leaving a 2cm border all around the edges. Sprinkle half of the toasted pecans and white chocolate chips on top of the chocolate layer too.
- Now shape you dough. Start by dampening the long edge of the dough further away from you with some water on your fingers.
- Roll up the rectangle tightly like a roulade, starting from the long side closest to you and ending at the other long end, until you have a long log of Babka dough. Press to seal the dampened end of the log.
- Finally use both hands to even out the roll into a perfect thick roulade. Rest the log on its seam when finished.
- Trim roughly 2cm off both ends of the roulade with a serrated knife, to tidy up the log.
- Next cut the Babka log in half lengthwise with a sharp knife, dividing the log into two long even halves, with the layers of dough and chocolate showing along the length of both halves.
- With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, then plait your dough, lifting one piece over the other to make a simple two-pronged plait showing the filling on top.
- Place the plaited dough into your greased loaf tin. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and chocolate paste to make your second loaf.
- Next pre-heat your oven to 190°C. Once the hour proving is complete, pop the Babka in the oven bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
- Finally heat your apricot jam for a minute or two in the microwave until its melted. Brush all over the two Babka loaves to create a glossy sweet shiny coating.
- EAT 🙂