Recipe by sugarpea
This yeast bread tastes heavenly and looks fantastic. Everyone will wonder how you got the chocolate filling into such an elaborate pattern. But the best part is how great a slice tastes when warmed in the microwave. Recipe makes three loaves so you can give one as a gift, freeze one for later baking and still have one to eat now. Rising and resting times are included in cook time.
Top Review by dmelnick30
I am a New Yorker who grew up on some of the best babka that exists. This rivals them all. I have made it several times and everyone who eats it raves. The chocolate can be a bit overpowering so I cut the filling recipe by 1/3 and it is perfect.
- 4 1⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast (two 1/4 ounce packages)
- 1 1⁄2 cups warm milk (110°)
- 1 pinch sugar
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- butter, for oiling bowl and loaf pans
- 36 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 1 2⁄3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Directions See How It's Made
- Bread Dough: Proof yeast in milk with a pinch of sugar for 5-10 minutes until foamy; whisk sugar, eggs and egg yolks together; add to yeast and whisk.
- Combine flour and salt and stir in egg mixture, mixing thoroughly; cut butter into 1" pieces and beat into flour mixture until dough is smooth and sticky and butter is completely incorporated.
- Scrape dough onto floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes; place in buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to double, about 1 hour.
- Filling: Stir chocolate, sugar and cinnamon together; cut butter in; set aside.
- Egg Wash: Whisk egg and cream together and set aside.
- Streusel Topping: Stir sugar and flour together; cut butter in until clumps range in size from crumbs to 1"; set aside.
- Butter three 9"x5"x2 3/4" loaf pans and line with parchment paper; punch dough down and let rest 5 minutes; cut into 3 equal pieces; keep 2 pieces covered with plastic wrap while working on the third.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough out 16" square by 1/8" thick; brush edges with egg wash; crumble 1/3 of the Filling (reserving 2 T) evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/4" border.
- Refresh egg wash if needed; roll dough up tightly, jelly roll fashion; pinch ends together to seal; twist dough evenly throughout the length of the roll a full five or 6 turns; brush top of roll with egg wash.
- Sprinkle the reserved 2 T Filling over the egg-washed top and press in gently so that it doesn't slide off; fold right half of the roll over onto the coated left half; fold ends under and pinch to seal; twist roll two turns and fit into prepared pan; (Loaves may be frozen at this point for up to a month).
- Repeat with the remaining dough and filling; preheat oven to 350°; brush the top of each loaf with egg wash and crumble 1/3 of the Streusel Topping over each; loosely cover with plastc wrap and rest loaves 30 minutes.
- Bake loaves 30 minutes; rotate and bake another 25 minutes until golden; lower heat to 325° and bake another 15-20 minutes or until deep golden; cool in pans on wire rack; remove from pans and serve.
- Baked loaves may be frozen up to one month; if frozen unbaked, let stand at room temperature 5 hours and bake.