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Rich Chocolate Babka

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on time 25 mins
Total time 3 hrs, 40 mins
Yield Serves 24 (serving size: 1 slice)
The dough is enriched with butter and eggs, making it a gorgeous, indulgent treat. Loosely rolling the dough will give it room to expand during the second rise. Roll too tight and the dough may split during baking.

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 1 cup warm 2% reduced-fat milk (100° to 110°)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 23.6 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (about 5 1/4 cups)
  • Cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped and divided
  • Additional ingredient:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 213
  • fat 7.1 g
  • satfat 3.8 g
  • monofat 1.3 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 5.1 g
  • carbohydrate 33 g
  • fiber 1.6 g
  • cholesterol 34 mg
  • iron 1.9 mg
  • sodium 142 mg
  • calcium 21 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare the dough, combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface. Add butter, vanilla, salt, and eggs; stir. Weigh or lightly spoon 5 ounces flour (about 5 cups) into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour to egg mixture; stir until combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 4 minutes; add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

  2. To prepare the filling, combine 1/3 cup sugar and cocoa in a small bowl, stirring well. Combine egg white and 2 teaspoons milk in a small bowl.

  3. Divide dough into two equal portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll dough into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. Melt 1/4 cup butter; brush 1 tablespoon over dough. Sprinkle evenly with half of cocoa mixture, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle dough evenly with 2 ounces chopped chocolate. Drizzle with an additional 1 tablespoon butter. Brush far edge with milk mixture. Loosely roll up, starting with a long edge; pinch seam to seal, and tuck ends under. Place dough, seam side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat procedure with remaining dough, butter, cocoa mixture, chocolate, and egg white mixture. Reserve remaining milk mixture. Cover dough. Let rise in a warm place 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  4. Preheat oven to 325°.

  5. Brush the dough with remaining milk mixture. Sprinkle each loaf with 2 1/4 teaspoons turbinado sugar. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until browned. Cool loaves completely on a wire rack. Cut each loaf into 12 slices.