Babka is an Eastern European brioche sweet yeast bread. Kinda similar to the Cinnamon Bread I knew from growing up in Denmark. Same but different.
Every slice reveals pockets of molten chocolate with crunchy walnut bites in the soft and sweet brioche bread. The intense chocolate filling makes this loaf a really great cake. As a not that chocolaty girl, all I can say is YUM, YUM, YUM.
Makes 2 loafs
1½ cup (3 dl) whole milk
113 g butter, salted
100 g live yeast, or 8 teaspoons dry yeast
¼ teaspoon vanilla paste
¼ teaspoon cardamom
100 g sugar
1 large pinch salt
750 g all-purpose flour
185 g dark chocolate
125 g butter, salted
100 g confectionary sugar (powder sugar)
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon strong coffee
125-150 g walnuts
Heat the milk until warm and melt the butter in it. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Make sure the milk is only finger warm before adding the yeast.
Add yeast, sugar, salt and vanilla paste and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add all the flour, and finally the eggs. The dough is very wet, but keep stirring, it will form a dough.
Let the dough rise until it's doubled in size, for about 1 hour.
Melt butter and chocolate, and mix in sugar, cocoa, coffee and vanilla. Let the mixture cool down, set aside.
Pour the dough out onto a flour dusted workspace, and fold the dough 4 times, to deflate it. Divide the dough in 3. Roll out each part so they are twice as long as your loaf pans and about four times as wide.
Spread the filling evenly on the dough, leaving a strip along the short side free of filling. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts. Roll up the dough, like you would cinnamon rolls, ending with the part that is free of filling.
My rolls were a bit soft, so I chilled them in the freezer for no longer than 20 minutes, just to firm them up.
Cut all 3 the rolls in half lengthwise, so you end up with 6 half circles, and braid 3 of the halves, with the filling "lines" facing upwards. Fold the end in under the braid, and place it in a parchment paper lined loaf pan. Repeat with the other 3 of the halves for the second loaf.
Let the loafs rise for about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven for 375℉ (190℃).
Bake the loafs for 45-60 minutes, covering the loafs with aluminum foil the second half of the bake time, to prevent burning the crust.
Brush a little glaze on the loafs after letting them cool for a while.