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chocolate babka with almond filling cut in three slices
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5 from 5 votes

CHOCOLATE ALMOND BABKA

This traditional sweet chocolate babka recipe has become one of our favorite afternoon coffee cake or quick sweet breakfast on the go. Sweet swirls with chocolate and almond filling are just the perfect addition and compliments this sweet bread.
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting time1 d
Total Time1 d 2 hrs
Course: bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Polish
Keyword: almond meal, babka, chocolate babka, poppy seed babka
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Julia

Equipment

  • 8" loaf pan

Ingredients

Babka dough

  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsps (4 g) instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup (90 ml) warm milk 49 C/ 120 F
  • 1 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/3 cup (107 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature for buttering a bowl
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) sliced walnuts
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Filling

  • 1/2 cup (85 g) milk or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) almond flour
  • 1/3 cup (80 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 tbsp (40 ml) water

Instructions

Babka dough

  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer, fit the dough hook attachment and combine flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt.
  • In another small bowl, whisk together warm milk, eggs, egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla with almond extract. With mixer on low speed, gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, beating just until combined.
  • Start the stand mixer on low speed and gradually add liquid mixture to the flour mixture. Beat just until combined.
  • Reduce the speed on medium and add room temperature butter; approximately 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until well combined, after each addition and the dough is smooth and elastic (about 3 -5 minutes). Add walnuts and combine.
  • Next, butter another large bowl with room temperature butter. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. It will take about 1 hour. Knead the dough 5 times with your hands and shape into a ball; return to greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 °F (177 °C).
  • On the flour dusted surface, knead the dough 4-6 times with your hands and shape into a ball. Return to the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it stand for 1 hour on the kitchen counter. Preheat oven to 350 °F (177 °C), butter 8×4-inch loaf pan and line the pan with parchment paper.

Filling

  • In the meanwhile, melt in a microwave chocolate chips with unsalted butter on 70% power, for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate in half way time. If the chocolate isn't melted, return it back to microwave and repeat the process with 30 seconds interval. Always stir the chocolate every time the microwave stops.
  • Add almond flour and sugar to the melted chocolate and stir well. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 10×9-inch rectangle. Spread Chocolate-Almond Filling onto dough and roll it tightly from the wider side.
  • Cut the dough lengthwise. Take two pieces of dough and cross them in the middle, with the cut side on top (the filling should be visible) and twist them gently. At the ends tackle the dough behind.
  • Place babka in the lightly buttered loaf pan, lined with parchment paper and cover it with clean cloth. Let the dough rise for another 2 hours.
  • Place the loaf pan in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Bake until golden or the inside the dough temperature reaches 190 °F (88 °C). Towards the end, you might have to cover the loafs with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning.

The glaze

  • In a small saucepan; simmer water with sugar for 5 minutes or until liquid thickens lightly. Let it stand for 5 minutes, or until it thickens a bit, but not too much. Brush the glaze over the loafs and let stand for another 5 minutes or until the glaze dries. Remove from pans and serve warm.

Notes

This babka is a long process, but don't be intimidated by the time spent in the kitchen. It is worth every minute. And the real time spent in the kitchen is only 1h & 15 minutes, the rest of it is rising and resting time in the refrigerator.
It is so worth of preparing double batch of this babka bread, because you can easily freeze the second half and pop it in the oven when you like to.
Storage babka couldn't be easier. It will stay fresh for 3 days when sealed in airtight container. For longer storage, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it up to 1 month. To defrost, place it on the countertop for several hours, and reheat in the oven at 180 C/350 °F for 10 minutes before serving.
Can I freeze the dough? Yes you can also freeze the filled and breaded dough (do not let it rise for the second time), inside the loaf pan preferably wrapped in plastic wrap or in airtight container up to 3 months. To bake it: remove it from the freezer and place it in lined pan with parchment paper and let it rise for 2 hours. Bake as per instructions.