This is a pretty classic chocolate babka with a buttery brioche dough twist. It's a rich bread with chocolate that swirls all through each slice.
3 1/3 cup (530g) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
3 tsp (10g) instant yeast
3/4 cup (175g) lukewarm water (90 degrees F)
3 large eggs
10 Tbsp (150g) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 tsp (3g) fine sea salt
Neutral tasting oil for greasing
Chocolate Paste Ingredients:
6.5 oz (180g) dark chocolate (70 percent or higher)
1/2 cup (120g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (105g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (42g) cocoa powder
*optional* freshly grated nutmeg (1/8 teaspoon)
Pinch of salt
Chocolate Paste Method:
In a pot, melt together unsalted butter and freshly chopped dark chocolate.
Once they’re fully melted, whisk in cacao powder and powdered sugar until completely smooth.
Add 3 teaspoons of yeast to ¾ cup of lukewarm water (around 90 degrees Fahrenheit). Give a light stir and let bloom for 8 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all-purpose flour, sugar, fine sea salt. Give a mix by hand to make sure everything is incorporated.
With the stand mixer going at medium-low speed, add three whole eggs and the bloomed yeast. Let the mixer run until it begins to form a dough. Make sure to scrape down the sides throughout.
Once it forms a rough dough, add unsalted butter at room temperature a spoonful at a time until all of it is used. Keep the stand mixer going at medium-low speed.
Once all of the butter is added and the dough is cohesive, let the mizer run at medium-low speed for 8-10 minutes or until the dough is completely smooth.
Lightly oil a large bowl and add the dough directly to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
Lightly butter two general sized loaf pans (9x5). Dust with a light coating of flour.
Roll out cold dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
Divide dough into two and place one half of the dough in plastic and place back in the fridge to hold while you’re working with the first piece.
Shape dough into a disk and roll out into a square that’s ½ inch thick.
Spread half of your chocolate mixture over the entire surface of the dough, leaving around an inch border around the edges.
Once the chocolate has been spread well, brush the top of your dough with a little bit of water so it adheres when you roll it up.
Roll dough from the bottom all the way to the top. Take the cylinder and cut it in half lengthwise using a bread knife.
Take one end of the two rolls you have, pinch them together and fold them over each other mimicking a braid. Once you reach the end, pinch the two pieces together.
Place dough into one of your prepared loaf pans and cover it with a damp towel and let proof at room temperature for 1 ½ - 2 more hours or until it has doubled in size.
Place pans in an oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until they’re golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
While those are baking, combine water and sugar in a pot and bring it over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Place to the side.
Remove loaves from the oven and immediately brush them with your sugar syrup.