Chocolate Nutella Babka
Chocolate Nutella Babka was a new one for me. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine asked me for a babka recipe. I had never made babka and the thought of it was a bit intimidating. I looked through some of my tried and true Jewish cookbooks, but did not find a recipe that peaked my interest.
A week ago, I had coffee with the same friend who, very nicely, reminded me that she was still interested in a babka recipe. I decided that it was time to conquer babka, I mean how hard can it be to find a recipe that is just what I am looking for?
Turns out that I opted to take a little bit from this and a little bit from that to create the babka that I wanted. Additionally, I decided to add a twist to my babka. Rather than just a chocolate babka, which would be delicious on its own, I had a taste for Nutella. So, I added this to the recipe. Don’t worry, there is still plenty of chocolate to be found.
I know, I know, this really bucks babka tradition. Yet, babka tradition is so diverse that I am not sure that one has to stick to a particular formula.
I always thought that Jewish bubbes (grandmothers in Yiddish) brought over babka recipes from Eastern European countries. As I searched babka recipes, I also learned that it was not only bubbes baking babka; but that babka is traditionally baked for Easter, too.
Historically, fillings are raisins, dried fruits, cinnamon and/or chocolate. Is it really such a stretch to include Nutella? After all, if bubbe knew about Nutella way back in the olden days, I would bet that she would have included it in her babka as well!
The one caveat for my babka was that it had to have a streusel topping. I am sure you are shocked by this revelation…my need for a sweet crumbly top over the yeast bread. Some babkas do not have this delicious addition. Why? I have no earthly idea. Just rest assured, if there is a way to sweeten our lives a bit more, I will find it.
|Chocolate Nutella Babka
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup warm milk
- ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 4 cups all purpose flour, plus additional flour for rolling
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 16 ounces (1 pound) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, chopped
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup Nutella
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Egg wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Streusel topping:
- ¾ cup confectioners sugar
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- For the dough:
- Butter a large bowl with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Set aside.
- Dissolve 1 tablespoon sugar into the milk. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Allow to stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Beat the 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk together in a small glass. Set aside.
- Place 3½ cups flour into large mixing bowl. Make a well and add ¾ cup sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Add the yeast mixture.
- Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, blend the dough ingredients together on medium low speed. This will take 1-2 minutes. Remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook.
- Add the softened butter and mix on medium speed to blend all the ingredients together, about 8-10 minutes.
- Gradually add in the remaining ½ cup flour, scraping the bowl down as needed. Transfer dough to buttered bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm place. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
- For the filling:
- Place the chocolate chips and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse on/off until it is the consistency of a grainy powder. Add Nutella and pulse on/off to combine. The filling will be very thick.
- For the egg wash:
- Beat the egg with cream and set aside.
- For the streusel topping:
- Whisk the confectioners sugar and flour together in a small bowl. Add the softened butter and blend together with a fork until combined and clumpy.
- To assemble:
- Butter two 9” x 5” pans and line them with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Measure out 4 tablespoons (2 tablespoons per babka) filling and set aside.
- Punch the dough down and divide in half. Roll out half of the dough on a well floured surface, flouring the rolling pin as well. Roll out evenly to a 16” square.
- Brush the egg wash ½” around the inside edge of the dough.
- Brush 3 tablespoons of melted butter over the dough, staying inside the egg wash line. Allow butter to set for 5 minutes. Crumble half of the filling over the butter, reserving the other half for the second babka.
- Brush the edge one more time with the egg wash.
- Starting with the side closest to you, tightly roll the dough up. Pinch the ends together. Gently twist the dough 6-8 times, in a motion that resembles wringing out a wet cloth, but doing it by rolling the dough rather than picking the dough up.
- Brush the top of the dough log with the egg wash. Crumble 2 tablespoons filling over half of the top of the dough. Fold the other half of the dough on top of the crumbled filling.
- Twist the dough 4 more times. Transfer dough to prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap while assembling the second half of the dough.
- After both babkas are assembled, brush the tops with egg wash and divide the streusel over the top of both babkas. Crumble it evenly over the tops and gently press partway into the dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350° while dough is on its second rise.
- Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. The top will have a golden color to it. Remove from oven and cool babka completely in the pans.
- Slice with a bread knife.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- Keep the second half of the dough covered when rolling out the first half.
- Chocolate Nutella Babka is delicious warm or at room temperature.
- Chocolate Nutella Babka freezes beautifully.