inside chocolate swirl babka bread

Chocolate Babka Bread

chocolate bread on a cooling rack

Lately, I’ve been on such a bread craze as it has become my new passion in baking, which I also do professionally as a Pastry Chef. Combine that with my love of chocolate creating a delicious Chocolate Babka Bread with a chocolate ganache swirl, topped with a crumble. Oh so delicious.

Babka History

Babka hails from Easter Europe and typically a sweetened bread that is filled and twisted. You can fill it just about with anything (chocolate, jam, cream cheese, cinnamon sugar, etc). Which makes this such a versatile bread and a beautiful presentation.

Inspiration

I was first introduced to Babka living in Syracuse, NY when my husband attended Grad school. Just down the road from where we lived, was a Wegmans Supermarket ( boy do I LOVE this store). In their bakery, they had a cinnamon sugar babka that I could NOT get enough of. Wow, it was so delicious and every time I made a trip there you can bet couple of those loaves consumed my cart! Rightfully so for this bread lover.

Chocolate Babka Dough

baked chocolate babka bread in a loaf pan

The dough is a super simple enriched yeast dough that contains milk, sugar, and eggs that give its richness. This is also considered an egg bread, much like a Challah bread (traditional Jewish bread). The dough is super simple to make and incredibly elastic to work with.

Chocolate Filling

Chocolate of course! The filling consist of a “medium” chocolate ganache which consist of equal amounts by weight of cream and chocolate. This makes for a super filling in its consistency and spreads nicely on the dough. Much like an icing but holds together nicely.

That is, if you don’t end up eating half of it before you use it! 🙂 Ganache is super simple to make, check out my post on how to make the three different versions here.

Recipe

  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz cream

Heat cream till scalding (not boiling), add to the chocolate in a bowl, allow to sit one minute. Whisk gently till smooth, allow to cool before using.

Once the dough is made, it gets rolled out into a rectangle then filled evenly with the chocolate ganache, making this a chocolate babka version. You just know its going to be delicious at this point!!

Crumb Topping

chocolate babka bread

The top is the second characteristic of babka, the first one is the twisted appearance. I just love a hint of crunch and sweetness on top of my breads.

Tradition takes the cake here, as the topping consist of a sugar and flour mixture that is cut with cold pieces of butter that makes a perfect crumb finish.

Recipe

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 TBS cold butter cut into pieces

Once the dough is filled, braided, and risen, the crumb topping is added right before baking. Not only does the sugar caramelize when it bakes, but also crisps up to give that little bit of crunch along with that tender, sweet bread. Oh so good!

Chocolate Lovers Dream Bread

Once the dough is baked I can hardly wait to dig in. Patience is a virtue here. As it cools, I’m already thinking what is the best accompaniment to go along. Glass of cold milk, tea, or coffee? Really, anything goes amazing with a slice of this chocolate dream bread.

However, I can’t decide which part I love most:

1) the soft bread

2) the chocolate filling

3) crunch sweet topping

How about all three!

Hope you give Babka a try to taste or even try at hand making it on your own.

inside chocolate swirl babka bread

Check out my Mascarpone Blueberry version here.

Love baking breads? Here are some of my favorite here.

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