Continental Bakes

European Bake: Babka Part Two

The second attempt was much more successful.  As I said, I used the Food & Wine recipe for Chocolate Babka, but skipped the wafer cookies and honey for the filling, and never got around to making the glaze.  The yeast proofed nicely (albeit a little slowly) and after refrigerating, the dough was a delight to roll out and work with.  Here’s a quick play-by-play of my success:

Put yeast in warm milk to begin proofing process.

Proofed yeast after about 15 minutes–foamy and smells bready!

Mixed ingredients together (4 c. flour, 1/3 c. sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1 lg. egg & 1 yolk in the stand mixer for 5 minutes.  Add 10 Tbsp softened butter all at once and mix for an additional 3 min.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for an hour.

Get a baking sheet and line with parchment paper.  Spray with oil and dump dough onto it.  Cut in half and pat each piece into a squarish block.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Melt 3 oz. chocolate and 12 Tbsp butter over low heat in a double boiler.  Stir occasionally until smooth.  Remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Take two 9 x 4 loaf pans, spray with oil and line with parchment paper with 2″ overhang on the long sides.

Roll out dough to a 16″ square on a lightly floured surface.

Mine was probably a bit bigger than 16″.  It’s nice and thin, rolled out so beautifully!


Drizzle half the chocolate on the dough and smear it around with a spoon or scraper.

If you’re feeling adventurous, add something else–chocolate chunks, caramel bits, butterscotch chips…whatever you fancy.

Roll it up tightly.  You can stretch it out a little more at this point into a longer tube.

Twist and shape it so it’ll fit into the pans.  The one on the left is chocolate-only; on the right, chocolate & caramel.

The directions say to bake at 375 for 45 minutes.  I set mine for 40 minutes and they were quite over-baked.  Start with 30 minutes and add more if necessary.

Saw into these beautiful bready cakes, with or without the drizzle.  My brother thinks that the bread on the right spells out “SPLID”, which is a terrible name for a band.  I assured him it says “SPIED” which is a great name for a Latvian Techno band, meaning “click on”.  Too bad it doesn’t say “CEP UZ”…that would mean “bake on”…according to Google Translate, so you can take that with 2 tsp fine sea salt.

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