Yield: Yields 1 10-inch cake
This is the ultimate in yeasted coffee cakes. Eastern European in origin, it’s made with a yeasted dough enriched with butter and eggs. The dough is left to rise overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning, it’s rolled out, slathered with more butter, and dusted with sugar, chocolate, and nuts. The adorned dough is rolled into a log, cut into spirals, and fitted, free-form, into a tube or Bundt pan. After baking, those spirals give the babka its delicious nooks and crannies filled with melting chocolate and crunchy nuts, which make for an amazing breakfast cake.
After 30 minutes, crack the eggs and add them to the sponge. Put the bowl onto the mixer with the hook attachment and mix on low until the flour is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Watch the dough to see if it’s sticking to the sides. If it is, add additional allpurpose flour, 1 Tbs. at a time—it may take as much as 1/2 cup until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Once the dough has formed a cohesive mass and is pulling away from the sides, turn the mixer to medium and set a 5-minute timer. The dough will be moister than many bread doughs and will mostly cohere around the hook, occasionally letting off a tail of dough. Listen for the slapping noises as the dough goes around and around, releasing and incorporating the tail of dough. Halfway through the mixing time, stop the mixer and scrape the dough thoroughly from the hook. Mix the dough for 5 minutes more, making sure to set a timer.
After 10 minutes the dough should be a supple, elastic mass. Add the butter 1 Tbs. at a time and mix on medium speed, waiting to add the next piece until the first one is fully incorporated. The dough will come apart and back together again as the butter is incorporated into the dough. Once all the butter is added, the dough should be shiny and soft.
For the first rise, scrape the dough into a buttered bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and leave to rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size. The dough is ready when a floured finger stuck into it leaves an impression. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently fold the dough into itself and gather it back into a ball. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Make Ahead Tips
The babka is best eaten the day it’s made. It can be stored, wrapped tightly in plastic, for up to 2 days. When you eat the babka after it’s been stored, warm it first.
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I can't wait to make this one. Love chocolate Babka!
This recipe needed some work:--First, forget the specialty flours and just use APF (all-purpose flour).--The dough is very wet; I had to add 1/2 cup more to make it dough and not batter.--8 ounces is not enough chocolate: I tried doubling the chocolate, but that was too much, so 12 ounces would probably work well.--I didn't use a bundt pan, I used 2 9x5 loaf pans. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350F.--The author's detailed instructions about a "tail" of dough slapping around the bowl struck me as silly. Why knead it for so long when you are adding all that butter to create a soft bread? You just need a soft dough.#NAME?--Oh, and two sticks of butter makes a greasy bread that leaves your fingers shiny with oil when you eat it. Icky! I tried the recipe a second time using just one stick of butter, and the dough was still soft but not greasy.
THIS RECIPE TASTES GOOD BUT IS ALOT OF WORK JUST TO GET THIS TASTE. WON'T MAKE ANYMORE AS TIME CAN BE USED TO MAKE OTHER RECIPES THAT TASTE BETTER.
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