Pardon me everyone, but I'm in a chocolate coma right now. OMG.
Chocolate babka is another recipe that I've been wanting to try for a long time. A very long time. Maybe since the Seinfeld Days??
Not surprisingly, there are no babka's in my past. No secret family recipes. No grandmother's who made babka.
What to do?
Sure, there are plenty of recipes out there. But I wanted to try something that was out of this world. Something worthy of the calorie splurge. And so I researched and learned that Bread Bakery's chocolate babka is one of the best in NYC.
The very next day, I came across this list of 25 bakery's to visit before you die, and Bread Bakery came up again.
And so I researched and stumbled upon this recipe from the Wall Street Journal.
Now, frankly, I thought this bread had way too much Nutella.
I know, I know - can you ever have too much Nutella?
The photos above show what I got by following (weighing the Nutella) the recipe. The loaf that you see above was the middle loaf, which had the most Nutella in it. In other words, I didn't even out my Nutella as much as I should have and so I have a Nutella explosion.
When I cut the other 2 loaves the next day, they looked much more like the "real thing" and so the moral of the story is to make sure you spread your Nutella evenly!! I also learned it's really important to let the loaves cool completely (cool for a full 2 hours) before slicing. And if you have a food thermometer, the loaves are finished when the center reads 180 to 190 degrees.
For me, I might cut back the Nutella by one-third. You be the judge based on your preferences
Judging by the recipe source photos, there doesn't appear to be an overload of Nutella and also reviewing the real thing here and here, there does appear to be a little less Nutella in the real thing.
And speaking of chocolate, this chocolate hazelnut torte is a must try as well!
Bread Bakery's Chocolate Babka
For the syrup:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup water
For the dough:
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 ½ 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.