Chocolate Babka


Bread Dough
  • 4 1⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast (two 1/4 ounce packages)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups warm milk (110°)
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • butter, for oiling bowl and loaf pans
  • 36 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1⁄2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter
Egg Wash
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 egg
Streusel Topping
  • 1 2⁄3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature


1 _ Bread Dough: Proof yeast in milk with a pinch of sugar for 5-10 minutes until foamy; whisk sugar, eggs and egg yolks together; add to yeast and whisk.

2 _ Combine flour and salt and stir in egg mixture, mixing thoroughly; cut butter into 1" pieces and beat into flour mixture until dough is smooth and sticky and butter is completely incorporated.

3 _ Scrape dough onto floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes; place in buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to double, about 1 hour.

4 _ Filling: Stir chocolate, sugar and cinnamon together; cut butter in; set aside.

5 _ Egg Wash: Whisk egg and cream together and set aside.

6 _ Streusel Topping: Stir sugar and flour together; cut butter in until clumps range in size from crumbs to 1"; set aside.

7 _ Butter three 9"x5"x2 3/4" loaf pans and line with parchment paper; punch dough down and let rest 5 minutes; cut into 3 equal pieces; keep 2 pieces covered with plastic wrap while working on the third.

8 _ On a floured surface, roll the dough out 16" square by 1/8" thick; brush edges with egg wash; crumble 1/3 of the Filling (reserving 2 T) evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/4" border.

9 _ Refresh egg wash if needed; roll dough up tightly, jelly roll fashion; pinch ends together to seal; twist dough evenly throughout the length of the roll a full five or 6 turns; brush top of roll with egg wash.

10 _ Sprinkle the reserved 2 T Filling over the egg-washed top and press in gently so that it doesn't slide off; fold right half of the roll over onto the coated left half; fold ends under and pinch to seal; twist roll two turns and fit into prepared pan; (Loaves may be frozen at this point for up to a month).

11 _ Repeat with the remaining dough and filling; preheat oven to 350°; brush the top of each loaf with egg wash and crumble 1/3 of the Streusel Topping over each; loosely cover with plastc wrap and rest loaves 30 minutes.

12 _ Bake loaves 30 minutes; rotate and bake another 25 minutes until golden; lower heat to 325° and bake another 15-20 minutes or until deep golden; cool in pans on wire rack; remove from pans and serve.

13 _ Baked loaves may be frozen up to one month; if frozen unbaked, let stand at room temperature 5 hours and bake.