Makes 3 small loaves of sweet and very chocolatey babka.
For the syrup:
½ cup granulated sugar
⅔ cup water
For the dough:
¾ cup whole milk
1½ packets active dry yeast (10 grams)
2.5 cups bread flour, sifted plus more for work surface (302 grams)
2.5 cups pastry flour, sifted (300 grams)
2 large eggs (100 grams)
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar (113.5 grams)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (114 grams)
For the chocolate filing
30 ounces Nutella (850 grams)*
1 cup semisweet chocolate (170 grams)
For the syrup
Add sugar and water to small pan and heat till boiling. Reduce to simmer for 2 additional minutes and them cool until needed.
For the dough and assembly:
Pour milk into bowl and activate yeast according to package directions (I used instant yeast and didn't need to activate). Add flours, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and half of the butter in the order listed. Mix the dough for 3 to 4 minutes and them slowly add remaining butter and keep mixing/kneading until combined, another 4 minutes
Form the dough into a flattened square and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and flour your workspace. Roll the dough into a 10 by 28 inch rectangle and them spread the nutella on top followed by the chocolate chips.
Roll the dough up to form a log that is 28 inches long and then cut into 3 pieces (about 9 inches long each) (see photo)
Slice each roll into half lengthwise (you will end up with 6 pieces)
Form an x with each pair of pieces and then twist each pair around each other.
You will end up with 3 twists (see photo)
Place each twist into an 8 x 3 loaf pan, tuck ends under, cover, and let rise for 60 minutes in a warm spot
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (less if you have a convection oven, more if not). Internal dough temperature should be about 180 degrees when finished.
Immediately brush the tops with the cooled syrup
Let cool for 2 hours before slicing or the center of the loaves may seem raw.
*It is very important to spread the Nutella evenly!!! my center loaf had too much Nutella in spots. If you prefer less, decrease the Nutella by about ⅓ depending upon your tastes.
Recipe by Feeling Foodish at http://feelingfoodish.com/bread-bakery-chocolate-babka/