Jewish Chocolate Babka Recipe

Chocolate babka
Joy / Flickr / CC By 2.0
Ratings (17)
  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 2 chocolate babkas (18 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
331 Calories
23g Fat
28g Carbs
5g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This chocolate babka recipe features a streusel topping and is baked in a loaf pan.

It's unclear if the Poles appropriated this recipe from their Eastern European or Ashkenazic Jewish neighbors or if it's the other way around.

As with most recipes, changes were made over the years. Instead of being baked in a swirly babka pan the Poles use, most Jewish people bake it in a loaf pan and often add a streusel topping.

It's a delicious, rich version that is most commonly made in chocolate, cinnamon, cheese and almond varieties and, some people say, they surpass most Polish babkas in flavor and richness.

 

Ingredients

  • For the Dough:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package yeast (active dry)
  • 3 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 ounces/2 sticks butter (cold, cut into pieces)
  • 3 large eggs (separated)
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 can/12 ounces chocolate filling (not frosting)
  • For the Streusel Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (cold)

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. Scald the milk and let cool to 110 degrees. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the yeast. Let stand for 7 minutes until bubbly.

  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade (or by hand using a pastry blender), combine 3 cups flour, salt and 3 tablespoons of the sugar (the remainder of the sugar will be used in the filling), pulsing to blend. Pulse in the butter as for pie dough.

  3. Add the egg yolks and yeast mixture and pulse until a ball of dough forms. Place in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Make the Streusel Topping

  1. In a small bowl, prepare the streusel topping by mixing together 3 tablespoons flour and 4 tablespoons sugar. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter as for pie dough.

  2. Reserve while you roll out the dough and assemble the babkas.

Assembling and Baking the Babkas

  1. Grease two (8 1/2x4 1/2-inch) loaf pans and set aside. Beat reserved egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar not used in step 2 of the dough instructions, and whip until stiff peaks form. Reserve. 

  2. Divide dough in half (refrigerating the half not being rolled) and, on a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, roll each half into a 12x18-inch rectangle.

  3. Spread dough with half of the chocolate filling and then half of the beaten egg whites. Fold in the sides of dough and roll up as for a jellyroll. Place in prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel topping. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until above the rim of the pan. Repeat with remaining dough.

  4. Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 F. Bake babkas for about 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F. Let cool in pan 5 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a rack to cool completely.