A Chocolate Babka Recipe for Chocolate Week

Whatever else I had going on this week needs to step aside! Because I made Chocolate Babka for Chocolate Week. And while it has many steps it’s actually an EASY Chocolate Babka Recipe!

Enriched dough rolled around a dark tempting chocolate filling, sliced, twisted, and tucked in a loaf pan make the Chocolate Babka something special!

Thoughts on THIS Babka Recipe

It’s different for sure! I’m used to heating the milk and sugar and then adding them to the flour mix. I think it works better that way, the dough definitely rises quicker and the yeast gets off to a good start!

I’m ALSO used to a double rise. Rise once, punch down, THEN roll out, fill and so on.

And that sugar syrup glaze?? I’m not 100% sure it NEEDS it. You could probably leave it off and the whole thing would be fine.

Honestly I was expecting MORE from Chocolate Week on the GBBO. I was thinking of the other episodes I’ve seen where it’s a literal chocolate extravaganza, like Caramel Week with all the caramel work and so on.

The GBBO 2020 Chocolate Week Bakes were:

  • Signature Bake: Brownies
  • Technical Bake: Chocolate Babka
  • Showstopper Bake: White Chocolate Layer Cake for a special occasion

I picked the best bake from the bunch to set as the Challenge for my Great British Baking Show Group on Facebook, the Chocolate Babka!

Sugar glazing the chocolate babka.

How to Roll This Chocolate Babka

  1. According to Paul’s Directions, you needed to roll this Chocolate Babka to about 11×16
  2. it should be rolled so that the long part is perpendicular to you
  3. spread the filling out to within a 1/4 inch of the edges of the dough
  4. sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top
  5. beginning on the long side roll the dough up as you would for cinnamon rolls
  6. pinch the seam closed, then lay it seam side down
  7. use a sharp knife to cut the dough in half lengthwise
  8. pinch the top of the two strips together
  9. then fold one over the other, repeating to make a 2 strand braid, being mindful to not stretch the dough out too much, it needs to fit in a loaf pan!
  10. pinch the ends together
  11. gently lift the Chocolate Babka up and into the prepared loaf pan

It might look a bit messy but it will all work out in the rise and the bake!

How I convert Weights to Cups for GBBO Recipes

I measure first on my scale. Once when making the recipe, THEN again when I’m not in the middle of something.

I then compare my numbers to industry standards. If my measurements are off, I remeasure AGAIN. If things still seem wonky or out of whack, then check my batteries in the scale.

Can I Make Bread with All-Purpose Flour?

Yes, you can absolutely make bread even IF you don’t have bread flour. Bread flour has wheat that has a higher gluten content so it’s a little more structurally sound. If you DON’T have bread flour it’s going to be just fine. I test all my recipes with All-Purpose Flour (AP Flour) to make sure they will work for you.

As a mom of teen boys I know buying bread flour in bulk can be hard to do, whether its availability OR price that makes it hard. So I make sure that if anyone needs (KNEADS) to use AP flour, they’ll be just fine to do so.

You can ALSO make your own bread flour out of AP flour. Simply measure out your flour, for every cup remove 1.5 teaspoons of flour and add in 1.5 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten.

Should I use Rapid Rise, Instant Yeast, Or Active Dry Yeast?

These yeasts offer the same thing, rise to your bread. What they do is the same, how you add them to a recipe is different. You can use them interchangeably in recipes as long as you use them correctly! Or you can see the third option for the rebels out there.

  • If your recipe calls for Active Dry Yeast and you have Rapid/Instant Rise, use about 25% LESS Yeast for best results
  • If Your recipe calls for Rapid/Instant Rise Yeast and you have Active Dry use about 25% MORE Yeast for best results
  • If you’re using Instant Quick Rise or Rapid Rise can add the yeast directly to your dry ingredients — There’s NO NEED to dissolve the yeast in the water FIRST
  • Active Dry Yeast-Regular Normal Yeast should be mixed with a small amount of the water and flour from the recipe and added that way to make sure the yeast is properly distributed
  • REBEL MODE you can be like me and use EITHER type of yeast like it’s Instant Yeast and just accept that your bake may not be perfect

Pin for Chocolate Babka.
Yield: 1 Loaf

Chocolate Babka

Sliced babka.

Enriched dough wrapped around a chocolate filling, rolled, twisted, cut, and braided make this chocolate babka a must bake!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Filling

  • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts( I used pecans!)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Babka Dough

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon yeast(please see notes for yeast info)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar 
  • 50 ml milk (roughly 1/5 cups)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened 

Sugar Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 100 ml water

Instructions

  1. lightly toast the nuts, this can be done in a frying pan over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes
  2. chop half of them finely and the other half can be chopped a little bigger, then set aside for later
  3. melt the chocolate, butter, and sugar for the filling over medium heat
  4. once it's melted remove it from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder, let the mixture sit until ready to use, it needs to thicken up
  5. for the dough put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, put the yeast on one side of the bowl, the salt on another, and the sugar opposite both of them
  6. mix the milk and eggs together
    chocolate babka dough ingredients.
  7. make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the mix egg mixture
  8. mix with the dough hook on low until the dough hook comes together, 2-3 minutes
  9. slowly add the butter in small pieces, beating well after each addition
  10. once the butter is in the dough turn the mixer up one more notch
  11. keep mixing, through the sticky phase, until you get to a soft silky dough, that's when your dough is done
    Time to roll out the chocolate babka dough.
  12. meanwhile lightly butter a 9x5 loaf pan, line with parchment paper
  13. roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to an 11x16 inch rectangle, make sure the long side is perpendicular to you
    11x16 rectangle for rolling babka dough.
  14. spread the filling to within 1/4 inch or so of the edges
    Chocolate Babka filling spread over the dough.
  15. sprinkle with the prepared nuts
    Nuts going in a Chocolate Babka.
  16. roll it up from the long side of the dough to make a 16-inch roll of dough
  17. pinch the seam to seal
  18. lay it seam side down on the counter and cut it lengthwise
  19. lay the dough cut side up and pinch the top of the two strands together
  20. then fold one side over the other side, and repeat, keeping the open piece of the dough facing up as much as possible
  21. be sure not to stretch the dough out to far, this is going in a 9x5 loaf pan
  22. once the dough is plaited lay it in the prepared pan
    Letting the braided Babka rise.
  23. cover with plastic wrap of a proofing bag
  24. set in a warm place until doubled in size
    Risen babka loaf.
  25. when it's almost done proofing preheat the oven to 395˚F
  26. when it's DONE proofing bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven
  27. THEN reduce to heat to 345˚F and bake another 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, be aware that you might mistake gooey chocolate filling for the loaf being under baked
  28. while to loaf finishes baking mix the sugar syrup ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar
  29. once it boils quit stirring, reduce the heat and let cook for 5 more minutes, then let it cool
  30. when the babka is done remove it from the oven to a cooling rack, brush with the cooled sugar syrup
  31. when the babka is cool enough to touch use the parchment paper to remove it from the pan
  32. slice and serve while warm
  33. you can let it cool completely and serve cool as well

Notes

Notes On Yeast

  • if you're using Instant Quick Rise or Rapid Rise Yeast you can add the yeast directly to your dry ingredients -- There's NO NEED to dissolve the yeast in the water FIRST
  • Active Dry Yeast-Regular Normal Yeast should be mixed with a small amount of the water and flour from the recipe and added that way to make sure the yeast is properly distributed

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