Making Chocolate Babka

Imagine a mouthful buttery, fluffy brioche. Its cottony texture is interspersed with a creamy-decadent bittersweet chocolate swirl. Notes of cinnamon fly high overhead while bits of crunchy baked streusel dot the terrain. That’s what a big bite of chocolate babka tastes like, friends. I can’t sell it any harder than that.

There’s word on the street that babka takes a lot of time and effort to make. Which isn’t true. You can have the whole thing done in about four hours and have a cooled loaf waiting for you by tea time. Trust me, this isn’t hard. Start by assembling your ingredients. Next, grease a standard 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan and place a piece of parchment in it like so. Grease a little more.


Chocolate Babka Recipe

Most babka recipes, I’ve noticed, are not only complicated they make enough for 2-4 loaves. This one, thanks to he addition if instant yeast, is quite simple. It makes a single loaf but can be scaled up to your heart’s content (remember, baking recipes — especially yeast-based recipes — can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, quintupled, whatever) with no ill effects).

For the Dough

9.5 ounces (1 3/4 cups) bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1/2 cup) whole milk
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened