Chocolate babka from David Lebovitz
Stun your friends and family with this beautiful chocolate babka from David Lebovitz. This sweet and chocolate-y bread is something you'll always remember!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting time8 hrs
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 3/4 ounce (20 grams) fresh yeast)
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) whole or lowfat milk, warmed
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons (3 ounce or 90 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (280n grams) all-purpose flour, divided
- 7 Tablespoons (3 and 1/2 ounces of 100 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 ounces (80 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 5 Tablespoons (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (62.5 millileters) water
- 1/2 Tablespoon honey
Make the dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the yeast, milk, sugar and 1/3 cup of the flour. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes until foamy.
Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Turn the mixer to low and add in the butter, egg and salt until well mixed. Slowly add in the remaining 1 and 2/3 cups of flour. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, about 1 Tablespoon at a time. Turn the mixer to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 4-5 minutes.
Cover the dough and refrigerate for 6 hours or up to overnight (I skipped this step and went directly to the next step since I am impatient).
Make the filling
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and mix until most of the sugar has dissolved. Turn the stove off, remove the pan from the heat and add in the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and allow to rest for 1 minute. Then add in the cocoa powder and ground cinnamon and mix until well blended. Set aside.
Roll and shape the dough: Generously grease a standard 9"x5" loaf pan. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out onto a lightly floured surface to an approximate 12" x 20" rectangle. Brush the filling on top, leaving at least 1 inch around all edges free of filling.
With the long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough up, jelly-roll style. With a sharp knife, slice the bread down the middle, length-wise. Turn each half of the dough, cut side up. Pinch one of the ends together and cross one side of the bread over the other. Continue to twist the bread, making sure that the cut sides of the bread remain up. Pinch the remaining end.
Transfer the bread to your prepared baking pan and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
Make the syrup
While the dough is rising, boil the sugar, water and honey in a small saucepan. Let the mixture boil for 4 full minutes. Turn off the stove, remove the pan from the heat and set aside and allow to come to room temperature.
Finish the babka
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Bake your babka in your preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center (without chocolate) comes out clean. Once the babka is done baking, pour the syrup over the top.
Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and serving. Do not attempt to remove the bread from the pan while it is warm or else it may fall apart.
Leftover bread should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep for about 3 or 4 days. It can also be frozen and thawed.
Source: Barely adapted from David Lebovitz; originally adapted from the Honey & Co. Baking Book by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich