All of this snow finally gave me the chance to share a new recipe. I have so many great things saved up on my computer, but just haven’t gotten around to posting them. I made this babkallah a couple of months ago and writing this post has me wanting to make it again. The minute I saw this recipe in December’s Bon Appétit, I knew I had to try it. It was 10pm and I seriously contemplated making a loaf right then and there. The concept of a chocolate babka and challah hybrid is genius and the result was even better than I expected. Imagine soft and eggy challah bread full of rich, chocolatey cinnamon swirls. Absolute heaven!
The recipe itself is somewhat involved and time consuming, but well worth the wait. The dough is soft, yet easy to work with and rises really nicely. I was afraid that the chocolate would melt all over the place in the oven, but the braid stayed intact and created some killer swirls inside. This loaf was devoured before I got the chance to fulfill my dreams of Babkallah french toast, but I have a feeling that it would make a pretty amazing breakfast.
Chocolate Cinnamon Babkallah
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/4 oz. envelope active dry yeast
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled, plus more
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
all-purpose flour for surface
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
Heat milk in a saucepan until warm. Transfer milk to a large bowl and whisk in the yeast; let sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
Whisk in egg yolks, vanilla and 1/2 cup butter. Add sugar, salt, and 3 cups flour; mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until supple, smooth, and no longer shiny, 5-10 minutes.
Transfer to a large buttered bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.
Filling and Assembly:
Mix chocolate, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide into three portions. Shape each into a 12″- long rope. Roll out each rope to a 12×6″ rectangle about 1/8″ thick. Brush with butter and top with chocolate mixture, pressing gently. Roll up to form a log; pinch seam to seal.
Place logs seam side down, side by side on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pinch logs together at one end; braid, and then pinch ends together and tuck under. Cover loosely and let sit in a warm place until 1 1/2 times larger, 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat egg yolk with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Brush dough with egg wash; sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until top is golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when bottom is tapped, 35-45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.