A Babka is a sweet bread, kind of like a soft buttery brioche, but without heaps amount of butter! This specific recipe doesn’t need an overnight proof (like most Babka recipes do) plus you can easily make it in one evening and enjoy it the same night! I absolutely LOVE this bread, and decided to pair it with the obvious choice of chocolate as well as almond paste. So about the pictures.. well to be honest.. Once I took the bread out and it was cooled and ready for me to slice, I just kept eating it. And then my husband ate some.. but mostly I ate it.. lol so… there aren’t that many great pictures of the full loaf.. but hey that goes to show how amazingly tasty this bread ACTUALLY is!
Here’s how you make it!
- 15g yeast (instant or live)
- 160ml (2/3 cup) warm milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 100g butter, room temp.
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- 400g (4 cups) flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 128g (1 cup) dark chocolate, finely chopped (or chocolate chips)
- 100 g butter, cold
- 100 g almond paste
- In a small bowl, once your milk is warm (to finger warmth) then add in the yeast and 1 tsp sugar, and give it a good whisk. Leave it aside for a couple of minutes (if you’re using live yeast then you don’t have to wait for the bubbles to be active).
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the softened butter, sugar and egg yolks until it becomes a soft paste. Then add in the yeast/milk mixture, 3 tbsp sugar, vanilla, salt and flour. Mix until it starts coming together, then change to a dough hook and mix until it becomes a soft (yet ‘slightly’ sticky) dough. You will know when its ready once it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, this will take roughly 5-7 min, at medium-high speed.
- Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and leave in a no draft/warm place to proof for an hour, or until doubled in size.
- Once proofed, sprinkle a little flour onto your table, and roll out the dough to roughly 1/3 cm thickness.
- Grab your cold butter, and a cheese slicer, and slice thin pieces of butter, and place them all over, evenly, on the Rolled out dough. if your butter is soft, then you can just spread it on (but because I ALWAYS forget to take my butter out, I just slice it 😉 )
- Then spread your almond paste over evenly as well (I sliced mine the same as the butter using a cheese slicer).
- Starting at the long edge nearest you, tightly roll into a jam roll–style , so it essentially becomes a tightly rolled log.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half lengthwise, so you are left with two long thin pieces . Twist both pieces together and transfer to a baking bread pan which is lined with baking paper. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour (or until doubled in size) in a warm/no draft area.
- Once risen, bake in the middle of the oven at 180C (365F) for 1 hour (or until the internal temperature reaches 86C -186F).
- Take out and leave it to cool COMPLETELY in the tin, then take it out, and slice it and ENJOY IT!