My dear friend Andrea's husband, Phil, has a bit of an infatuation with Babka. He talks about it like it is his first love. His pupils even dilate at the sound of someone saying Babka. So, for Christmas I thought it would be nice to make him some. After all, I do steal his wifey poo from him regularly so I have to keep him happy!
After searching the internet for recipes, I finally decided upon one at Food.com Although it was one of the most complicated recipes, it seemed the most authentic. You can find the recipe here or just follow along with me.
- 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 chips , very finely chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter , room temperature
Making the Bread Dough
- 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.
Look at those arm muscles hard at work kneading that dough!
Making the Filling
- Filling: Stir chocolate, sugar and cinnamon together; cut butter in; set aside.
- Egg Wash: Whisk egg and cream together and set aside.The chocolaty goodness is being created in my new big stainless steel bowl. I can smell the milk chocolate and it is yummy!
Making the Streusel Topping
- Streusel Topping: Stir sugar and flour together; cut butter in until clumps range in size from crumbs to 1"; set aside.
The buttery sweet streusel topping will be the perfect sweet crunch on the top of this bread dessert!
Let's put this Babka together!!
- 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.I even got a big hug from Phil when I gave him his very own Babka to take home with him. Of course, I had another one for us all to enjoy on Christmas. Here is a picture of fill digging into the yumminess BEFORE he even ate dinner. I think this face speaks for itself....