Chocolate Babka


Emily pointed out that I never posted this over a year ago and I use my blog for past recipes just as others.  So, a year later but it is now live.

Food and Wine’s January edition was about the trends and recipes for 2016.  Babka’s of all flavors graced the cover.  I had it in my head that it was of utmost importance that I attempt to make a chocolate babka.  I accomplished that mission last week.

It is not simple.  There are many steps.  You have to make the dough a day in advance.  Then after preparing the babka it has to rise for another two hours before baking.  The time in the oven was not as long as the recipe called for but I was quick to react to that.   A worthy noted success for a first timer and I will certainly try again.

This recipe was from Melissa Weller of Sadelle’s.  I cut and paste the recipe from Food and Wine into this post.  It is long and then made a few notes of what I learned.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, preferably King Arthur
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature
  • 9 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
MAKE THE DOUGH In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk with the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk and sprinkle the dry ingredients on top. Mix at low speed for 2 minutes.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix at medium speed until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated and the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Add all of the butter at once and mix at low speed until it is fully incorporated and a tacky dough forms, about 3 minutes; scrape down the side of the bowl as needed during mixing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Here is the thing.  The dough is tacky but super buttery.  You have to really scrape down the side of the bowl several times in both processes above.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and coat the paper generously with nonstick baking spray. Scrape the dough out onto the parchment paper and cut the dough in half. Pat each piece into a neat square. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.MAKE THE FILLING In a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt both chocolates with the butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the cookie crumbs and honey.   You could use a little more of the filling…not double but definitely 50% more.Coat two 9-by-4-inch loaf pans with nonstick baking spray and line with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on each of the long sides. Roll out each square of dough to a 16-inch square. Using an offset spatula, spread all but 1/2 cup of the filling in an even layer over the dough squares to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Starting at the long edge nearest you, tightly roll up each dough square jelly roll–style into a tight log.I did not realize it until I got to this part that I did not have a rolling pin in the house.  Not smart so I pulled and rubbed out the dough with my hands like a super thick pizza dough.  I did not get it to the right size of 16×16 and I am sure that would make the babka even better and flakier.Using a sharp knife, cut the logs in half crosswise. Using an offset spatula, spread 1/4 cup of the reserved filling on the top and sides of 2 of the halves. Set the other halves on top in the opposite direction to form a cross. Twist to form spirals and transfer to the prepared pans. Cover the loaves with a towel and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.Cover the wait another two hours to taste what you have been slaving at.  Unfortunately yes.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the loaves in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes, until puffed and well browned. Let cool slightly, then use the parchment paper to lift the babkas out of the pans and onto a rack set over a baking sheet. Discard the paper.

It doesn’t take 45 minutes.  It really takes 35.  So set the timer to 35 (I set ours to 40 because I didn’t completely trust the recipe) and check to see if you need the extra time or not.  Some ovens are not perfect.

MAKE THE GLAZE In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt both chocolates with the butter; stir until smooth. Stir in the corn syrup. Spread the glaze on top of the warm babkas and let stand until set, about 30 minutes.

Way too much glaze.  If I used all of this I would have sunk the babkas.

Delicious regardless but all lessons learned for next time.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Erin

    Haha that is intense, although I used to make cinnamon buns that were that involved before my metabolism slowed down. I like the idea of ground-up chocolate wafers inside. Good idea for a good crunch.

    1. Gotham Gal

      very good idea.

  2. Robin Bobbe

    And for us mere mortals there’s always Breads Bakery.

    1. Gotham Gal

      LOL. Breads is amazing.

  3. aminTorres

    Starting to think there should be a GG recipe book, if there isn’t one already.

  4. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Holy wow. That picture is like, “dream come true.”