Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (2024)

Jump to Recipe Jump to Video Print Recipe

Chocolate Babka- Soft, buttery ,Sweet Yeasted Bread with Swirls of Dark Chocolate filling. It just cannot get better than this!

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (1)
Jump to:
  • Why you will love this recipe
  • Ingredients in Chocolate Babka
  • How to make Chocolate Babka
  • Chocolate Babka

Babka, also called Babka Cake and Babka Bread in some places. It's a love child of bread, croissant and cake, if three could produce a child that is.

It's probably best described as a sweet yeasted bread with a dark and decadent filling. It's quite a popular bread in jewish and Eastern European households.

Dark Chocolate inside soft buttery folds of a rich Brioche bread with a just brewed cup of my favorite coffee can banish staunchest of demons.

I can vouch for it!

If you ever wondered about that one food that could make you happier than you have ever been..it is this homemade Chocolate Babka!

This sweet braided bread recipe could rival your favorite cinnamon roll recipe or even your most perfect croissant that you spend so much on!

This kind of bread comes under the category of Enriched Bread. It's richer and softer than your average bread because it has eggs, butter and milk. Like a brioche!

But the real winner is in the filling. The best filling is chocolate(obviously).

That said, there are other equally intriguing non chocolate fillings like- cinnamon, peanut butter, custard which are also quite enticing(if you take chocolate out of picture).

Also! if you love milk chocolate, give my Nutella Babka a try! It's so good! Better yet! Make one loaf with chopped up dark chocolate and one with Nutella!

Here is what we will do

  • Make the Brioche Dough
  • Rest the Dough
  • Add Chocolate & Shape the Dough
  • Let it Rise once more
  • Bake!

Why you will love this recipe

I have been using this one recipe for years! We love making this babka at home. Here is why!

  • The taste is unbelievable! Better than any store-bought chocolate breads!
  • It's very easy to make and the recipe is tried and tested and foolproof.
  • This chocolate babka bread freezes beautifully! So I always have some at hand!

If you love chocolate as much as i do, give these amazing chocolate cake a try.I have been making it for past 12 years!

Ingredients in Chocolate Babka

bum ba bum..here are the ingredients.

Sometimes I can't believe that such humble ingredients can produce something so so amazing!

Okay here you go-

For the dough

  • All Purpose Flour or APF
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Salt

For the Filling

  • Chocolate - Dark or Sweet or a mix
  • Butter

For the Syrup

  • Sugar
  • Water
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (2)

Flour

I have used all kinds of All purpose flour or white flour and this recipe has given amazing results.

If you can find it, use high gluten flour or bread flour.The Babka will be even more soft.

Eggs

I use cage free organic eggs.They have the most gorgeous yellow yolks which make the dough slightly golden yellow.

I love them!

That said, use any eggs on hand.

Butter

You can use both salted and unsalted butter.

I like little salt in my babka. It makes the chocolate filling shine even more.

The one thing to note is that your butter should be cold. Cut it into small ¼ or ½ inch cubes.

There is a specific purpose in using cold cubed butter. It will make the babka bread crispy on the top.

For the filling, you can use softened salted or unsalted butter. I personally love the taste of salted butter with chocolate.

Milk

Use room temperature or cold milk. Please use whole or high fat milk.

Add the milk slowly. Do not just dump the whole thing in.

Every flour has different liquid absorption capability. So you need to add half at first and then add little by little as you bring the dough together.

Yeast

Use fresh(ly opened box of ) dry active yeast.

I have used fast acting active yeast and the regular active dry yeast with equal success.

Don't use that old sachet of yeast lying behind your pantry .Old yeast is notorious for ruining breads!

Sugar

Regular granulated white sugar will work fine. Caster sugar will well as well.

For the syrup and for the dough.

Chocolate

Get Good Quality Chocolate for the filling. You could go all the way dark dark dark bittersweet chocolate. but I find that a mid way works better.

Like 50-60 % dark chocolate is that perfect middle space.

Definitely do not use compound chocolate. I also prefer a chocolate bar over chocolate chips because it is easier to cut. Plus finely chopped chocolate is easier to roll and shape, which you will see below.

My Rule for chocolate in baking is, if you can have it as is, you can use it.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (3)

How to make Chocolate Babka

Here is step by step process of making the babka.

In addition to the ingredients , you will need the below equipment

  • A huge bowl or stand mixer
  • Cling Film or plastic wrap
  • Sharp Knife or a Pizza slicer
  • Offset spatula or a silicon spatula
  • Extra Flour
  • Baking Pans or a Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper

Step 1: Prep

Gather all the ingredients and measure them. Cut the cold butter into cubes.

Cold butter is essential to this recipe. Don't skip on this!

Either clean up some space on the counter to knead the dough or get your stand mixer ready to go or use a huge bowl like I do.

Line the baking pan with parchment paper or brush it with butter.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (4)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (5)

Step 2:Make the Dough

You can do this the easy way- in a stand mixer or by hand. Both ways, you will get same result.

Stand Mixer Method

Add the Flour, Yeast, Salt & Sugar to the bowl of the stand mixer. Using the hook attachment, Give it a whizz to mix it up.To this add cold butter and mix it for another 30 seconds. Add Eggs, one at a time.Add the milk.

Let the hook attachment do its work for 5-6 minutes.You need to do this to develop gluten.This will make yur bread soft.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (6)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (7)

By hand

In a large bowl, add flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Mix it up with your hand.

Add cold butter cubes and pinch and rub the flour and butter to get a course clumpy consistency. This should take 1-2 minutes.

Add the eggs and half of the milk and mix it up together to get the dough. Add more milk little by little if the dough is dry.

If the dough is too sticky, add flour and if its too tough, add more milk.

The dough might feel sticky at first. It will become smoother the more you knead it.

Knead the dough for about 10-15 minutes, stretching and folding it again and again to develop Gluten.

When kneading by hand, you need to do it for longer because kneading by hands is a slower process.

Once done, place the dough in a greased bowl.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (10)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (11)

Step 2:Proofing the Dough or the first rise

Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and place the dough on a warm place on the counter for 1-2 hours. Let the yeast do it's business, till it rises and doubles in size.

On a warm day this could take 1 hour or less. On a cold day, it could take up to 4 hours. To speed up the dough rising process, you can stick the covered dough in the instant pot in the "yogurt" setting.

Or you could just keep the dough in a warm water bath.

Make sure the dough is well covered, otherwise you will end up with some not to nice bits of dry dough.

If you aren't confident of kneading or just don't like it, then get the dough together and stick it in the refrigerator overnight. This will automatically develop gluten without a lot of kneading.

Your Brioche dough is now ready. The next step is filling and shaping it.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (12)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (13)

Step 3:Shaping the Bread

On a lightly floured surface ,divide the dough into 2 equal portions. You can make 2 babka breads with this amount.

Roll the dough on the floured surface into a large rectangle(or something resembling a rectangle).

For the filling

Brush the butter on it, rather slather it with soft butter. Be Generous.

Chop up the chocolate. You should have some chocolate dust, some small chunks and pieces.

Sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate all over the butter. Leave a small border around to help rolling the dough.

You can also melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiled and spread on the dough. Though I like the look of chopped chocolate more.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (14)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (15)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (16)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (17)

Shaping the Babka

There are lots of different ways of rolling the babka. Here are two of my go-to ways.

Shape 1: 2 Braided Loaves

Pick a long edged side and gently Roll the dough into a log.

Press the seem and put the seam side down.

Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, slice the dough along the length.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (18)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (19)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (20)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (21)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (22)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (23)

Pinch the ends together and braid it. Just go one side over the other alternatively.

Place it seam side down in a loaf pan or prepared pans, you plan to use. Tuck the ends under.

Repeat for loaf 2.

Cover with cling film.

Even if it doesn't look great right now, it will look great in 1 hours time. After your second rise.I promise!

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (24)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (25)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (26)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (27)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (28)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (29)
Shape 2: A Large Wreath

You can use all the dough to make a large wreath. You don't need the baking loaf pans but a big cookie sheet to make this.

Divide the dough into 2 halves.

Starting with one half, roll the dough into a rectangle.

Spread the butter and sprinkle the chocolate. Roll it into a log along the long edge.

Cut it lengthwise. Braid it by going one over the other.

Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Transfer both , seam side down, to the cookie sheet you are using to bake.

Now pinch the ends of two logs together. You should get one long braid.

Now connect the other end making a large wreath.

Cover with a damp cloth.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (30)

Step 4: Second Rise

After shaping, let the babka rise for the second time. This time it will fill up the loaf pan you have used.

Again, the amount of time it takes depends on how hot your kitchen is.I would say about 1-3 hours at 25 degrees Celsius.

If you are in a cold place, either use the instant pot or a warm bath to help rise the dough.

Preheat the oven at the end of one hour to 350 F or 180 Degree C.

Step 5:Bake

Place it in the middle rack and bake for 30-35 minutes till the tops are golden brown and a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Check around 20 minute mark and if you see the chocolate browning too much, cover the babka with foil and continue baking.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (31)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (32)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (33)

Step 6: Simple Syrup

Meanwhile, add the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat it till the sugar dissolves and the syrup starts bubbling. This will take 10-12 minutes.

Once the babka comes out, brush with the cooled syrup right away. Let the babka cool on a wire rack before cutting.

This syrup will make the babka shiny and keep it moist and also add to the taste.

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (34)

Storing & Freezing

The babka will stay in an airtight container , in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 days. To serve it, microwave the babka for 30 s to 1 minute.

I always freeze slices of babka for a rainy day. I mean I am an emotional person, so you never know when I need a hit of chocolate to make my day better.

Just wrap it in plastic wrap and then again in foil. Pop it in the freezer. It should last anywhere between 2-3 months.

To serve, you can either microwave it or let it thaw on the counter. Once its thawed, heat it up a bit to make the chocolate gooey and serve!

Here are some photos of the babka i have made over the years

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (35)
Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (36)

Tips & Tricks

Use the Slap and Fold Method- Flap the dough down on the counter & Fold. Do this a couple of times till the dough turns from sticky to smooth.

Sticky Dough - A sticky dough will become smoother when you knead it. Also, it will get better once you let it rise the first time.

Slow Ferment - Overnight Refrigerator Ferment will make your babka super soft. If you use this method for first rise, let the dough come to room temperature before rolling.

Cold dough will be super difficult to roll.

Switch up the filling - Add some Cinnamon and nutmeg for special holiday cheer. You can also add some sea salt, Orange or lemon zest too.

Here are some more Dessert recipes that you are going to love!

  • Eggless Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Nutella Babka- Chocolate Brioche Bread
  • Eggless Chocolate Cake
  • Chocolate Date Protein Energy Bliss Balls

If you make this delicious chocolate babka recipe, do leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you!

Find us on Instagram , Pinterest & Facebook here!
If you liked my recipe, do leave a comment!
It will help others find this amazing recipe too!

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (41)

Chocolate Babka

How to make Chocolate Babka - Rich sweet bread with swirls of dark chocolate

4.41 from 54 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes minutes

Proofing Time: 2 hours hours

Total Time: 1 hour hour 40 minutes minutes

Course: Baking

Cuisine: Jewish

Keyword: Chocolate Babka

Servings: 2 Loaves

Calories: 1825kcal

Author: Chhavi

Equipment Needed

  • Oven

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour Refined White Flour or Maida(read notes)
  • 2 teaspoon Instant Active Yeast
  • 2 teaspoon Salt Reduce if using Salted Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Butter Unsalted, Cold
  • 2 Eggs
  • 12 oz Milk 1.5 cups; Lukewarm

Filling( for 2 babka loaves )

  • 8 oz Chopped Chocolate* ½ Cup
  • 10 tablespoon Butter

Syrup

  • 2 oz Water ¼ cup
  • 2 oz of Sugar ¼ Cup

US Customary - Metric

Instructions

Kneading Using a Stand Mixer(Option 1)

  • Add the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and cold butter in the bowl of a Stand Mixer / food processor/ Dough maker.

  • Pulse till the butter disintegrates and mixes with the flour.(but you should see the specks)

  • Now on low speed, using the dough hook, Add the eggs one by one.

  • Trickle in the ¾ cup of milk . The dough should start to come together now. Process for 1 minute. If it seems to dry add 1 tablespoon of milk in increments till you get a soft dough.

  • Take the dough out.

Kneading with Hand(Option 2)

  • Mix in the flour, yeast,sugar and salt in a large sturdy bowl.Add the cold cubed butter.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (42)

  • Now pinch the butter with your index finger and thumb and mix it with the flour.Rub the butter in the flour till you don't have any big cubes of butter left but small clumps of it.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (43)

  • Add the eggs and ¾ cup milk. Start by mixing and wetting all the ingredients. Once the dough starts to come together , add more milk in 1 tablespoon increments if the dough is dry or if it's too wet add more flour.

  • Knead the dough well for about 10 minute. Stretch and fold..and Repeat.This is done to develop Gluten.If this step is omitted the bread will be chewy instead of pillowy.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (44)

Proofing the Bread

  • Use a large greased bowl for this step. It should be big enough to fit a triple amount of the dough.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (45)

  • The quick way is to keep the kneaded bread in a bowl, covered with wet kitchen towel for 2-4 hours.

  • The easier way is to keep the dough in a covered bowl(use cling film) in the fridge for 8-10 hours.

Rolling the Dough and last proof

  • If in the fridge,Take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (46)

  • Knead the dough for 2 minutes to make it pliable.Divide it into two halves.

  • Make a Ball of the one halve and roll it into a rectangle.About ¼ inch thick.

  • Spread the butter in the rectangle by leaving 1 inch space.Sprinkle the chopped Chocolate.Roll it from the longer side to make a long log.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (47)

  • Optional step : Keep it in the fridge for 10 minutes to make it easier to cut.

  • Cut the log along it's length and then braid it. Take one over the other alternatively.

    Tuck the ends under. Lift this into a prepared loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Cover again with cling film or damp kitchen towel.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (48)

  • Let it rise for another 30 min-1 hour.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (49)

Baking

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 356 F.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (50)

  • Bake the babka in the oven for about 35-40 minutes.

  • Bread is done if the skewer inserted comes in clean.Also when you knock on the back of the bread and it feels hollow.

Syrup

  • Make this ahead of time so that it can be brushed over the bread as soon as it's out of the oven.

    Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (51)

  • Heat the sugar and water in a sauce pan together till the sugar crystals dissolve and the syrup thickens.

  • Brush it generously over the babka for the beautiful glossy look.

Video

Notes

Ingredients

All Purpose Flour- Don't use whole wheat flour or any other substitution. The texture will not be the same.

Chocolate- Use the best you can afford. I like a mix of Dark and Sweet Chocolate. I also prefer chocolate bar over chocolate chips. The chocolate bar can be chopped up finely , which really helps when it comes to shaping and cutting.

I also like to have some fine, small and relatively larger chunks. They create a great textural contrast.

Proofing Notes

  1. Make sure to cover the bread every-time you rest it. You can use a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Some prefer to use a large zip lock bag too.
  2. The dough will rise faster in a warm place. If you live in a cold place, you can either use the Yogurt option in low on the instant pot or place the covered bowl of dough in a warm water bath.
  3. To slow down the rise, stick the dough in the fridge. You can let it rise there for about 12-15 hours.

Shaping & Cutting

  1. Use a pizza cutter to cut the rolled, filled dough with ease.
  2. The dough plait might not look so pretty at first but it will look nicer once it rises and gets baked. I promise!)

Nutrition

Serving: 1Loaf | Calories: 1825kcal | Carbohydrates: 241g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 77g | Saturated Fat: 44g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 288mg | Sodium: 2835mg | Potassium: 1052mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 1760IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 309mg | Iron: 18mg

1825

If you liked the recipe, please leave us a rating

4.41 from 54 votes

Follow me on InstagramMy handle is @yellowthyme

SaveSave

Best Chocolate Babka Bread Recipe (2024)

FAQs

Why didn t my babka dough rise? ›

If you have too much sugar in your dough, it could gobble up almost all of the food the yeast needs, leaving you with dry, ineffective yeast. To counteract this, allow sweet doughs, like the kind used to make cinnamon rolls or babka, plenty of time to rise.

Why do Jews eat babka? ›

As a way to use extra challah dough, Jews there would roll up the dough with cinnamon or fruit jam and bake it alongside the challah. Babka remained relatively unknown outside of Eastern Europe until the 1950s, when European-style bakeries in Israel and the United States began to offer it.

Why is my babka dough dry? ›

Too much flour can create a very DRY yeast bread. Now if you really need a bit of flour go for it, but use as little as possible. The dough is so silky that it rolls out beautifully and I don't get need any flour at all!

What to do if dough doesn't rise enough? ›

But almost as good as a proofing box is taking a Mason jar filled halfway up with water, microwaving it for two minutes, then putting your bowl of dough into the microwave with the jar to rise. The other thing you can do is place your lidded container or bowl of dough into a second, larger bowl of warm water.

How to make bread rise more? ›

You can also put hot water in a heat-safe dish and place it on the floor of a cold oven (or on a lower shelf). The steam and heat from the water will help the temperature rise just enough that the yeast is active.

What does babka mean in Yiddish? ›

It started when Jews on Shabbat took leftover challah and twisted it with seeds and nuts, such as poppy seeds and walnuts. The word 'babka' means grandmother, referring to the grandmothers on Shabbat who made this out of the leftover challah. Chocolate wasn't added to babka until Jews arrived in New York.

What flavor is traditional babka? ›

Babka is a traditional Eastern European Jewish sweet loaf. It is a yeasted cake-bread that is typically filled with chocolate or cinnamon (but the possibilities are endless).

What is a fun fact about babka? ›

Babka, which means “l*ttle grandmother” in Ukrainian, Russian, and Eastern European Yiddish is very popular where those languages are spoken. Babka used to be filled with scraps of Challah and seeds or nuts. It wasn't until Eastern European Jews arrived in New York that they decided to put chocolate in the bread.

How to get more layers in babka? ›

Roll it up: starting with the rectangle closest to you, roll it up from the bottom along the longer edge, working evenly side to side and pulling back with your fingertips to make the roulade as tight as possible. Repeat for the second rectangle. The tighter the roulade, the more layers of chocolate you'll have.

How to tell if babka is done? ›

Transfer to oven and bake until a tester goes into the cakes without any rubbery resistance and comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. The cakes will also sound hollow if you unmold them and tap on the bottom. An instant-read thermometer will read between 185 and 210 degrees.

Why has my babka sunk in the middle? ›

Do NOT underbake your loaves. I recommend checking them with a thermometer to make sure they're done. If you pull them out too early, the babka will sink in the middle and be doughy (it's happened to me before and it's a total bummer).

What holiday do you eat babka? ›

Full of flavor, these yeasted rose cakes can be prepared in advance and frozen until the Jewish new year. Israeli cuisine has always had yeast cakes.

How much is a chocolate babka? ›

Trader Joe's describes this as "a sweet rich pastry layered with chocolate." An 18-ounce babka costs $4.99.

Can I freeze babka? ›

Babka thaws surprisingly well after being frozen! To freeze a loaf of babka, let it cool completely on your counter before wrapping it in a few layers of plastic wrap. Then wrap it in a layer of tin foil and put it in your freezer. It'll keep for up to a month this way.

What to do if dough won't stretch? ›

If your pizza dough is quickly snapping back or difficult to stretch, your dough is too tight. Cover your dough with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. After a bit of rest, the gluten in the dough will relax, making the process of stretching much easier.

Why didn't my pastry rise? ›

A dull edge can cement layers together and prevent pastry from rising. When using an egg wash, be sure it doesn't run down the cut sides of the pastry, as that will make edges stick together and stop the pastry from rising. Check the production code date on the box. Discard expired dough.

Why didn't my sourdough rise? ›

Most commonly, the issue here has to do with temperature (which is very important). If your sourdough starter is kept at a low temp, even 70°F (21°C), it will slow fermentation activity and appear to be sluggish, taking longer to rise and progress through the typical signs of fermentation. The solution: keep it warm.

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated:

Views: 6118

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.