I love this chocolate babka. It's a rewarding recipe for taking the next step in your bread baking. Even if it's slightly imperfect going into the oven, it turns out gorgeous. Look at those swirls! —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Total TimePrep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min. + cooling
Makes2 loaves (16 slices each)
- 4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2-1/2 teaspoons quick-rise yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature, beaten
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 5 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. In a small saucepan, heat water to 120°-130°; stir into dry ingredients. Stir in eggs and yolk, orange zest and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
- Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12x10-in. rectangle. For filling, in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Stir in confectioners' sugar, cocoa and salt. Spread filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam and ends to seal.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each roll lengthwise in half; carefully turn each half cut side up. Loosely twist strips around each other, keeping cut surfaces facing up; pinch ends together to seal. Place in 2 greased 9x5-in. loaf pans, cut side up. Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Bake until golden brown, 35-45 minutes, tenting with foil halfway through. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Brush over warm babka. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.