An easy recipe for making a delicious loaf of babka bread. I hope you enjoy!
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
List of ingredients:
1. 3/4 cup warm milk
2. 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
3. 3 teaspoons dry yeast
4. 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour with extra for dusting
5. 2 whole eggs
6. 1 egg yolk
7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8. 3/4 teaspoon salt
9. 1 1/4 (10 tablespoons) sticks butter, cut up and softened
1. 1 egg yolk
2. 1 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk
1. 5 tablespoons butter, well softened
2. 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3. 1/4 cup sugar
1. Stand mixer with fitted paddle attachment
2. Parchment paper
3. 2 standard loaf pans
Step 2: Preparing the Dough
First, you will be needing your mixer. In the mixing bowl, pour the milk and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Sprinkle your yeast on top and wait about 5 minutes for the yeast to foam around the edges. If your yeast does not foam, you will need to start the mixture over, making sure that your yeast foams.
Next, add 1/2 cup of flour to the bowl and set the mixer at a low speed until combined. Once combined, add the whole eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt, and the remaining 2 3/4 cups flour. After this is added, increase the mixing speed to medium and add the butter, a few pieces at a time, and continue to beat the dough for about 4 minutes. Make sure that the dough is soft and sticky, and that small strands of the dough are formed from the paddle to the bowl.
Once all this is mixed together, scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours; dough should be doubled in size by then.
Step 3: Filling the Babkas
First, you want to line your loaf pans with parchment paper (1 piece lengthwise and the other crosswise).
Lightly mash the dough around with a lightly oiled spatula or your hands. Shape the dough into a ball and lay it down on a well-floured surface. Cut the dough in half and set one piece aside to use later. Take your other piece and lay it on the flour. For the next part either lightly flour a rolling pin or lightly flour the dough and put a decently sized piece of parchment paper on top. From here you want to roll out the dough to form an 18 x 10-inch rectangle (you do not have to be exact!).
After you've laid out your dough, make the egg wash. Beat together the yolk and heavy cream to make your wash. Next, spread 2 1/2 tablespoons of softened butter around the middle of the dough. Make sure you leave something close to a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Brush the egg was along 1 of the longer borders, it doesn't matter which one.
Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips over the buttered area (should look something like the picture above, except for on the dough, not parchment paper). Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar with the chocolate chips. Next, starting with the long edge not covered in egg wash, roll the dough into a log shape towards the egg wash side. Once you roll it to the egg wash, pinching along the egg-washed edge to seal. Form the log into a large ring, then twist into a figure eight shape, pictured above. Once your babka is in the figure eight shape, place it in one of the loaf pans. Repeat these steps for your second babka, then cover the two pans with a lightly buttered plastic wrap, making sure that the buttered side is facing inwards, toward the babka. Let these rise in room temperature for about a hour.
Step 4: Baking the Babkas
Once your babkas have risen, set a rack at the middle position in your oven and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brush the tops of the dough with any remaining egg wash (make more if you have to), and then place in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the tops are a deep golden brown. Finally, set your loaves on a rack to cool off.