Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Babka-Chocolate

A Jewish traditional bread, this beautiful babka coffee cake with a ribbon of rich, chocolate hazelnut spread is excellent served for breakfast or enjoyed as a midday snack.

Serves: 6-8
Difficulty: moderate
Active time: 30-40 min
Non-active time: 5-12 hr
Bake time: 40 min
Equipment: loaf pan, stand mixer, pastry brush

Ingredients

1/2 c milk
1 generous t dry active yeast
2 lg eggs, beaten
2 + 1/4 c all purpose flour
3 1/2 T + 1/3 c sugar
7 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 t salt
1 c chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella
1/4 c water
2-3 T hazelnuts, chopped

Steps

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk milk and yeast to dissolve. Reserve 2 T beaten eggs and add remaining eggs, 2 c flour, 3 1/2 T sugar, butter and salt to bowl. Using the dough hook, knead for 6 min on low speed. Dough should be soft, shiny and a bit sticky. If it's too sticky and will not hold together, add flour a tablespoon at a time, until soft dough forms. Place dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate at least 4 hr or overnight for a better result. Cover and chill reserved egg, as well.

Place dough onto lightly floured work surface. Roll out into 12” x 16” rectangle, approx. 1/4” thick.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Working quickly, spread chocolate hazelnut spread evenly over dough, all the way to the edges.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Starting from a longer side, roll dough tightly into a log.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

With a sharp knife, cut log in half crosswise. Place logs side-by-side.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Cross logs in the center.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Continue crossing until you reach the ends, approx. 3-4 times, to create a braid. Lightly press together ends.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Grease loaf pan with spray or butter before transferring braid to pan, fitting it snuggly inside.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Brush top with reserved egg, then cover. Let it sit at room temp for 1 hr.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350º. Pour water into small saucepan, add 1/3 c sugar and bring to a boil, stirring only once to dissolve. Once syrup is boiling, cook for 30 sec, then remove from heat and allow to cool.

Brush babka with egg a second time and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Bake 25 min, then rotate and continue to bake for 15 min more. If cake browns on top quickly, tent loosely with foil and finish baking.

Remove from oven and immediately brush generously with syrup.

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Let cool in pan for 10 min then remove babka and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Babka can be stored at room temp up to 4 days. Microwaving each serving 10-15 seconds is recommended if not serving soon after baking.